Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Restaurant Spotlight: CAFE TALÉSAI - Beverly Hills, CA

Front counter at Cafe Talésai

9198 Olympic Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 271-9345

I. Love. Good. Food. It's really that simple. I derive exquisite pleasure when I am able to partake of a delicious meal with excellent service and a lively beverage (or two...)

Cafe Talésai is a Thai restaurant located in a small strip mall off of Olympic Blvd, in Beverly Hills. It's a street or so West of Robertson and Olympic (as major intersections/cross streets). While I was in Los Angeles for a short trip last week, I was still able to enjoy great food, and this was a pleasant surprise, because I had never eaten here before, but it came highly recommended by one of my close friends.

Upon arrival I was struck by the simplicity of the establishment. The tables were already preset with utensils and plates; with a sheet of a parchment like paper used as table coverings instead of tablecloths. It's a single room with approximately 10 tables for service - that's all.
Our waitress brought over the menu and I selected some Crispy Tofu and Shrimp Pad Thai - spicy. I didn't do Thai spicy, because that can be deadly, but I DO like my spicy! The Crispy Tofu was served over a bed of shredded cabbage with a side of delicious tamarind sauce. The texture of the Tofu was just perfect, as it was crisp on the outside and nice and firm, but soft on the inside, and the tamarind sauce was just the right amount of sweetness that added to the basic clean taste of this simple dish. My friend had the Chicken Satay with peanut sauce, and Talésai BBQ Chicken. I didn't eat any of those dishes, but my friend enjoyed every little stick of Chicken Satay and the perfectly marinated BBQ Chicken.

My main dish was the Shrimp Pad Thai. This was not some run of the mill Pad Thai where you had to search high and low for the protein - no, that shrimp was front and center! Every mouthful of delicate noodles, crunchy bean sprouts and egg, included some shrimp (which I cut up, as to appear dainty, and not shovel food down my throat). I was correct in ordering it spicy and not Thai spicy. It was just enough heat to linger in my mouth and add a curve to my lips, but not so much that it was uncomfortable, nor did the spice take away from all of the other delicious flavors melding in my mouth. The crunchy bean sprouts and fried eggs were a perfect accompaniment to the dish. I enjoyed every mouthful.

Would I recommend this restaurant for an evening out where you wanted to impress someone? Probably not, but for a solid meal that will leave everyone satisfied, this would be a top of the list selection where no one would go away hungry, nor broke.

Crispy Tofu - Served w/sweet tamarind sauce

Chicken Satay - Served w/peanut sauce & cucumber salad

Talésai BBQ Chicken - Marinated chicken grilled
Served w/sweet plum sauce

Pad Thai - Thai noodles pan-fried w/egg,
bean sprouts, scallions and shrimp

*Photos taken by That Chick

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