Thai food and sushi make a delicious combo at Sirinat Thai in San Pedro – Daily Breeze


Eat at enough Thai food restaurants – and God knows we should, because it’s one of the most soul-satisfying cuisines on Earth – and you’d expect a certain pattern. Not just the satay, mee krob and remarkably tender spicy chicken menu. But also the modest, sober decorations, often in the window. Restaurants that spend more time perfecting what’s on the plate and worrying less about the decor. This is what makes Sirinat Thai in San Pedro such a… surprise. Because while I wouldn’t describe Sirinat as sleek – white tablecloths and all that – it’s certainly more upscale than most.

Just consider the menu, which is not so much a list of dishes as it is a work of art. It’s substantial – thick and heavy enough that you’ll likely injure yourself if you drop it on your foot. It’s faux leather, with a faux fabric cover with elephants walking on horizontal stripes, and a metal parade elephant as a focal point, under the metal word, “Menu”. The pages inside – 10 in all – are covered in plastic and well illustrated with color photos of the dishes.

The restaurant shares its name with one of Thailand’s most beautiful national parks, famous for its large bird population. And like in a few Thai destinations in the city, almost half of the menu features sushi, sashimi, and a handful of Japanese seafood dishes. The cuisines don’t overlap – the first six pages are Thai, the last four are sushi. But layering them on your table is easy and a lot of fun. Two of my favorite foods, all at the same time. Attractive!

  • The fresh fish is behind the counter at Sirinat Thai in San Pedro. (Photo by Merrill Shindler)

  • Sirinat Thai in San Pedro is a combination of Thai food restaurant and sushi bar, and has a significant outdoor dining option. (Photo by Merrill Shindler)

Sirinat is located in a mini-mall at the tip of San Pedro and Palos Verdes. It has a sizable outdoor dining option that takes up a fair amount of space in a mini-mall – a good place to eat on a warm South Bay evening. And the interior is heavily wooded, with lots of art built around a gold theme – and a sushi bar where chefs frantically prepare exotic rolls, with a big screen showing the sport of the moment over their shoulders.

The menu is familiar because the menus of Thai restaurants in town are always familiar – there’s the chicken and beef satay, and the crispy spring rolls … there’s the green papaya salad and the tom yum and soups. tom kha… there’s the barbecue chicken and barbecue honey ribs, and the curries in a rainbow of colors. Pad Thai sits next to chow mein… pad see ewe next to drunk noodles.

And yet there are also dishes – or at least the names of dishes – that are a pleasant puzzlement. How to resist the Nest of Love, which is shrimp wrapped in crispy egg noodles served with the ubiquitous sweet and sour sauce. A dish called Exotic Spider, which turns out not to be a fried arachnid, but rather a crispy soft-shell crab in a peanut and chili-lime sauce, which I wish they would sell by the bottle … or maybe be in the bucket. There’s the Hurricane Soup, made with a “mixed seafood” – ginger, mushrooms, lime leaves, galangal (which looks like ginger), lemongrass, chili and basil. And a stir-fry with the happy name of Crazy Cashew Nut. Order it with the beef stir-fry dish called Beef Lava Flow, and have fun just saying the names! (There’s also When Tigers Cry and Lovely Honey Duck.)

But of course, as always, it’s the exotic buns that get the best names – and the most complex assortment of ingredients. Sexy Thai Girl starts with tempura shrimp, and adds spicy mayonnaise, jalapeños, mango, eel sauce and more. Add in some Laker Love (spicy shrimp and crab), Three Amigos (shrimp, tuna, and scallops), and the oddly-named Tennessee Thaitin (red snapper tempura and pan-seared tuna), and the order gets even more wacky.

And the multitude of tastes too, an excess of flavors guaranteed to send your taste buds into intergalactic overdrive. I’m not sure food isn’t meant to be this fun. But then, in Sirinat, there is a lot of happiness to be found. Add some sweet sticky rice with coconut ice cream and you might have a hard time getting back to the real world.

Merrill Shindler is an independent Los Angeles-based food critic. Send an email to [email protected]

Thai Sirinat

  • Evaluation: 3 stars
  • Address: 1627 W. 25th St., San Pedro
  • Information: 310-832-5678;
  • Food: Thai
  • When: Lunch and dinner, every day
  • Details: Beer and wine; large reservations
  • Atmosphere: Occupying much of a mall on the road to Palos Verdes, this combination of Thai bar and sushi offers a significant outdoor dining option.
  • Prices: About $ 25 per person
  • Suggested dishes: 21 appetizers ($ 6.99 – $ 14.99), 12 salads ($ 9.99 – $ 16.99), 13 soups ($ 6.99 – $ 16.99), 7 fried rice options (10, $ 99 – $ 16.99), 10 stir-fried noodles ($ 11.99 – $ 13.99), 10 curries ($ 11.99 – $ 15.99, 2 barbecue dishes ($ 12.95), 19 appetizers ($ 13.99 – $ 18.99), 23 sushi rolls ($ 10 – $ 13), 5 sashimi specials ($ 14)
  • Credit card: MC, V
  • COVID-19 Security: Very good with a sprawling outdoor patio, limited indoor seating, and well-masked staff.
  • What do the stars mean: 4 (World class! Worth the trip from anywhere!), 3 (Very excellent, if not exceptional. Worth the trip from anywhere in Southern California.), 2 (A great place to go for a meal. Worth the trip from anywhere in the neighborhood.) 1 (If you’re hungry and it’s nearby, but don’t get stuck in traffic.) 0 (Honestly, not worth it. speak.)

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