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  • Writer's pictureJose Martinez

HOLY BASIL

What’s better than one Holy Basil Thai restaurant?  Two, of course.  One of L.A.’s best go-to spots for Thai cooking, Holy Basil now has an Atwater Village location in addition to its original Fashion District takeout window.



From Chef Wedchayan “Deau” Arpapornnopparat and partner Tongkamal “Joy” Yuon, the duo built a legion of devoted fans with its popular Downtown L.A. takeout window when they opened Holy Basil during the height of the pandemic. Their bold Thai cooking earned them a well-earned reputation for solid comfort food.

 

The Atwater Village location on busy Glendale Boulevard is cute and cozy, which also means it’s small with its eight seats at the counter and a max of 20 seats inside and outside. But its beloved curries, noodles, and rice dishes, not to mention seafood specialties, including a raw bar at the counter, are worth the wait.

 

Tucked away from the busy street commotion, we thoroughly enjoyed our al fresco experience. We started with the Holy Wings—deep fried Jidori chicken wings—prepared light and delicate with crispy skin.



My favorite dish was the Shrimp Kaeng Karee (Shrimp Yellow Curry) served with house-made curry paste, peppercorn oil, cilantro and fried shallots. That curry sauce—it’s all about that curry sauce. It’s a slice of heaven.



Grandma’s Fish and Rice came highly recommended so we had to try it. Hand shredded fried local rock fish with culantro (leafy green/herb commonly used throughout the West Indies and Latin America)chili flakes, smoked chili sauce, cilantro, and shallots over jasmine rice, this is a favorite of Chef’s childhood dishes. There’s a little heat with this dish but it’s very tasty. And truth be told, I even mixed it with some of the curry sauce, which was terrific too.

 


We also enjoyed an order of Pad See Ew. Prepared with wok-fried smoked noodle, egg, Chinese broccoli, garlic, soy bean and xo sauce, this is comfort food at its best.

 

And check out Holy Basil’s brunch served Friday through Sunday with Thai-style egg omelets, rice porridge, and hefty brick toast. There’s also a small market inside stocked with wine, condiments, spices, and more.



“We want to embed Holy Basil to whatever the neighborhood vibe is,” says Chef.

 

 A third location in Santa Monica at Yale Street and Santa Monica Boulevard is in the works, while a tasting menu restaurant that serves Thai-drinking food and “cool dishes for a small amount of people” is slated for Melrose Hill later this year.

“When we started Holy Basil, we wanted to be the best Thai food,” Chef says. “Whatever that means, we’re going find a way to do it.”

 

Holy Basil is located at 3170 Glendale Boulevard. Open daily from 11am to 9pm.

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