Saturday, May 16, 2015


17644 Ventura Blvd.
Encino, CA 91316
Tel: 818.616.2338
$$ ($15-$30)
Cuisine: Thai
Sat, 05/09/2015, 6:15pm walk-in
   (3 Piglets)

When I was traveling around the world, I discovered that Thailand offered one of my favorite cuisines. Everything from their street food, to their curries, and even their fried bugs (but that's another story in itself) was absolutely delicious. Here in the States, it's hard to find authentic Thai cuisine that resembles what I had when I was in Thailand.

Luckily, Lum-Ka-Naad is one of those places where the food is full of mouth-watering flavors. The curries are aromatic with intense ingredients, the soups are fragrant, and the noodles are superb. There's only one glitch to this restaurant: the service! 

The interior

I can't reiterate how important service is in a restaurant. It can make a diner's experience better than they imagined or the complete opposite. Here at Lum-Ka-Naad, the service was no bueno (not good). For example, the food took ages to reach our table, they gave us the check 10 minutes into our dinner service thinking we were done eating (mind you, we still had 4 other dishes coming), and it was nearly impossible to flag down a waitress to order more dishes.

ANGEL WINGS ($10.95): Boneless chicken wings stuffed with ground chicken and silver noodles served with sweet and sour cucumber sauce. Perfectly crisp on the outside, these moist and juicy appetizers are to die for. The sweet and sour sauce is a bit spicy which balances out the sweet and refreshing cucumber sauce. Put both sauces on the angel wings for the perfect combination. The only complaint I had with this dish is that it had occasional hard chunks of meat (possibly bone) in them. 
The interior of the angel wings
TOM YUM KAI-HOT AND SOUR CHICKEN SOUP ($9.95): Spicy soup with chicken, lemongrass, fresh galangal and Kaffir lime leaves, fresh mint leaves, straw mushrooms, and lime juice. This is a nice tangy soup. The lemongrass gave the soup a hint of citrus to the dish. If you like a bit of sour and tang, then this is the perfect soup to settle your cravings. 
MY FAVORITE DISH. LARB-SPICY GROUND MEAT SALAD WITH BEEF ($8.95): Quick boiled ground meat seasoned with mint, chilies, lime juice, onions and ground roasted sweet rice. This is so good. We ordered it with medium spicy and it was the perfect amount of heat. The larb was moist and went well with the lettuce. This dish can be substituted with tofu if you want to make it vegan.  As leftovers, its quite tasty with rice. 
PAD KEY MAO-DRUNKEN NOODLE ($8.95): Spicy pan fried fresh noodles with Thai basil, chili, carrots, onion, bell pepper, mushroom, and garlic. We ordered this with chicken and was it delicious! This was probably my second favorite dish. The noodles had a great consistency and the flavors were balanced nicely. 
PA-NANG CURRY ($9.95): Red coconut curry with Kaffir lime leaves and mixed with peanut sauce. This is one of my favorite curries. The consistency is thick and creamy and the peanut sauce was prominent in the dish. The coconut milk gave a subtle sweetness to the curry. 
SWEET STICKY RICE WITH MANGO ($6.50): The mango was unbelievably ripe with the sweetness that I was hoping for. The rice went well with the mango, unfortunately, it was unusually hard in terms of texture. If they could improve on the texture of the rice (and getting the dessert to us in under 30 minutes), this would be a superb dessert. 

Overall, the food is decent but the service needs a bit of work. The place gets busy during dinner hours. There is another location in Northridge for those who reside in the North Valley in Los Angeles. Tip: The restaurant offers a number of parking spots in the back; otherwise, parking is available in front of the restaurant after 5:30pm.

Notable dishes: Larb and Pad Key Mao (Drunken Noodle)