“What Sapp serves is Thai food cooked for people that eat Thai food everyday.”
– Jonathan Gold
There’s more to this review, but what a writer. Does that not sum up a Thai joint you’ve got to try??
Zaya, mom and I jumped in Zay’s car and sped through the valley onto the hollywood 101. Into the heart of it.
Mom’s favorite food, not even sure she knows this, is Thai. As kids growing up in LA, whenever we were trying to decide where to eat, mom would always casually ask, “how about Thai?” As if the thought had never occurred to her before.
Another LA mini mall, this one in Thai town. We easily parked on the street and popped into Sapp before it was dark. We had come for dinner, but had to make it an early bird as Sapp closed at a definitive 7:45pm.
Being in the small restaurant cleared up the “coffee shop” piece of Sapp’s moniker. It looked like what you’d picture a coffee shop in Thailand to look like. Close quarters, neon lit, about 10 four top tables. When we arrived they were at about quarter capacity, all Thai folk. Obviously, a great sign.
We got to ordering. Started with Thai ice tea, creamy, frothy and sweet. My dear friend Clay, an ice connoisseur, would have been very pleased with their chewy crushed ice. Hopped up on tea, we partnered with our equally sweet server, who made smiling suggestions of what we should add or eliminate. He reminded me of a Thai Tom Cruz. Small and compact with a movie star smile.
By then Benji surprised us and showed up, a welcome fixture on our food tour. Once he ordered his vegan entree, we marveled at his memory as we reminisced about bands and shows we’d all been too, punk, hip hop. We both happened to be wearing Bad Brains tee shirts. Somehow Sapp appropriate attire.
The server made sure we started with their Tom Yum Kung, then came the perfectly crisp crab rolls, pad thai, salted beef, rad na, jade noodles….jade noodles. I still crave them. Holiday green with crab flakes, BBQ and duck, garnished with peanut and lime, the flavors were simultaneously subtle and vibrant. Jade noodles. We ordered another. And then two to go, one each for dad and Matthew.
By then other diners had all but filled the place up, including young foodies and an old school Thai mafia looking fellow, sitting alone, reading his paper and working away at the steaming boat noodles in front of him.
It was nearing closing time. I finally asked the young women behind the counter why they closed at 7:45pm. “Because we open at 8am” she replied matter of factly. Didn’t quite explain it, but breakfast at Sapp? Yes please.