Pa-Ord Noodle (5301 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood) is Sapp Coffee Shop's biggest rival.
Thai iced tea and Thai iced coffee.
Pad se-ew -- fried noodles, Chinese broccoli, beef ($6.00).
A familiar noodle staple in popular Thai cuisine. Very nice version.
But we're not really here for these. We're here for the legendary noodles in soup. We're here for fire.
Our server asks us how spicy we want our noodle soups. He laughs when we say hot. He continues to laugh when we reconsider and say, "Hmm. Ok. Medium then?" He tells us he is going to give us all "mild."
We are dismayed by his lack of confidence in us. We can handle the heat, damn it.
The noodles come.
Heed the advice of your server. "Mild" will fucking sear your intestines. Like wreck you.
It hurt so good.
Large tom yum noodles -- ground pork, BBQ pork, pork balls, dried shrimp ($5.50).
Incredible. The flavors are brilliant, powerful, and complex. Pungent, tangy, even a tad sweet. This is the one that is fire in a bowl. It may not hit you right away, but it will hit you. It's worth it. I was in pain, yet I still wanted more. (This is when you reach for your Thai iced tea or Thai iced coffee for intermittent relief!)
Large boat noodles -- pork, liver, tripe ($5.50).
Large boat noodles -- beef, liver, tripe ($5.50).
Sliced crispy pork and Chinese broccoli ($7.50).
OH-MY-GOD-SO-GOOD. SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD. This wasn't spicy at all. But it was fried and crisp and melt-in-your-mouth freakishly delicious. We all agreed that we could eat this every day. Mr. Monkey almost ordered a second dish. You absolutely must get this. You wouldn't think to choose it at a noodle shop, but it is crazy fantastic -- one of the best things I've eaten this year.
At Pa-Ord, you can opt for any of three types of noodles in your soups. See?
I favored the thin rice noodles, but Mr. Monkey liked the thin firm egg noodles the most. My brother and father were too busy eating to answer my queries.
I do still love Sapp Coffee Shop. The consistency of all of Sapp's noodles is top-notch, admittedly superior to those at Pa-Ord.
But Pa-Ord packs a punch that Sapp sorely lacks. Call me a masochist, but I kinda liked having my ass kicked by the tom yum.
And the crispy pork, people. Your life is not complete without this crispy pork.