Sunday, April 05, 2009

Songkran (Thai New Year) Festival - Los Angeles (Thai Town)

Did you know that Los Angeles has a Thai Town? So designated in 1999. And that it is America's first and only Thai Town? L.A. is home to 80,000 Thai Americans, the largest community outside of Thailand.


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I remember the neighborhood designation being big news back then. Though I've eaten at some restaurants in Thai Town, I hadn't really taken the time to explore it. So Gourmet Pigs and I decided to attend the 6th annual Songkran (Thai New Year) Festival on Hollywood Boulevard, between Western and Normandie Avenues.

The Songkran Festival in Thai Town takes place the first Sunday in April. It was soooo hooot! I had to park several miles away up in the hills. Sweltering and long walk, I got my exercise in for sure.



By the time I met up with Gourmet Pigs, I was miserably hot and hungry! We stopped off at the Curry Festival booths, but they were closed for health inspection. A revisit several hours later, and they were still closed. So I never did get to compare Thai vs. Japanese vs. Indonesian vs. African curries.

Look at the size of that wok!


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One of my favorite booths, Sophie's Thai Carvings.


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Musicians.


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After walking up and down the street, I settled on the Wat Thai of Los Angeles booth. Look at the lines!


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Twenty minutes later, I got a bamboo salad $4, a meat skewer $2, and a sausage $2. Really good, but eating while standing, even in the shade, on a hot day = miserably hot me.


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Another booth.


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We ran into Teenage Glutster, who mentioned that we could get Thai ice creams at one of the shops. Did I mention that it was a hoooot day? Thai iced tea ice cream sounded sooo good!

So we trooped on over to the Thailand Plaza, where the Singha beer garden was set up.


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And aimed for Bhan Kanom Thai.


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It was crowwwwded! But I managed to score some pretty awesome Thai desserts, which will be covered in their own post.


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Thai boxing nearby.


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I was beat!

On the way back up the hill, I passed out this float that was being set up for the parade.


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A glimpse into the courtyard of a home somewhere up in the Los Feliz hills, near where I parked. Doesn't it look so cool and soothing after such a hot day?


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Other things to do can be found in Explore SoCal.

Songkran Festival at Thai Town

Hollywood Boulevard between Western and Normandie Avenues. The Songkran Festival takes place the first Sunday of every April. The 2010 Songkran festival is on Sunday, April 4.

Sophie's Thai Carvings

805-584-9133

*****
1 year ago today, filet mignon pho Bac at Pho Huynh Vietnamese Restaurant - South El Monte.
2 years ago today, a little lesson on ancestor worship and my great-grandfather's death anniversary dinner.

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3 comments:

  1. I've lived in this area for years (I live on Hollywood Blvd.) and have been to many of the Thai Town festivals. What sticks out about each one is that it is always *very* hot. I never have the patience to wait in the long lines for food out in the heat so I end up ducking into one of the local restaurants and have never been disappointed: a comfortable seat, A/C, and quick service! I wonder what it'll be like this year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. WC,
    You have just given me the best excuse to go to Thai Town this Sunday! :) But it's also a friend's birthday so I may reconsider...

    Have to say, those fruit carvings are very nice. And so very large!

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  3. Vuthy,
    Even the restaurants along the strip were so packed. I'm kind of the opposite. I figure if I'm at a festival, I should support some of the places that only pop up during this time. I figure the restaurants will always be there.

    ETE,
    The festival goes all day so you can stop by at any time.

    ReplyDelete

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