Home Turf

Pim of Chez Pim texted me on a lazy Saturday mid-morning to ask if I wanted to meet up at Yai in Hollywood for lunch with her and some friends.

Holy crap!

Brandon and I have just rolled out of bed at 11 a.m. and we were to be in Hollywood by noon!?!  Pim assured us we’d make it a Thai time noon, so don’t worry if we were late.  And surprisingly, we arrived first. LOL.

I Yelped Yai (or P’Yai for us Thais) as “THE mothership for Southern California Thais”.  Because it is.  I remembered when my mom and I came to the U.S. in 1993 for my 2-month English immersion class at Whittier College, my “aunt” Tim brought us here for lunch. And later on, my mom’s best friend Aunty Or, who was kicking it in Pasadena while her son attended Art Center College of Design, would also bring us back to P’Yai for meals.

Naturally, while Pim was visiting Los Angeles from the Bay area, she would call up her friends to meet her there to eat like how we eat at home.

And eat we did.  With plenty to take home too.

Our party of five was seated at the table for a party of eight, and we used up all available surfaces for all the foods we ordered.

This is lunch for 5. 3 plates already taken away.

I joked to the waitresses that we ordered as if we have never eaten food before in our lives!  Then again, Pim claimed there is no Thai food like this up in the Bay area.  And while there are good places in the O.C. for me, there is no place like P’Yai.  Of course, we’d go a wee bit bonkers.

This was also the first time I have met Pim in real life after over a year of reading her blog and corresponding via email.  And of course, it was also the first time I met her Thai friend and her friend’s hubby.

Brandon said if he didn’t know better, he would’ve thought the three of us were friends from years past.  We talked like we knew each other all our lives.  And we ate like that too–as in, no nibbling just to be polite in front of people you just met.

We went to town at Yai. AND lost our heads at Bhan Kanom Thai, the dessert shop half a mile down the street.  Brandon and Pim’s friend’s husband just stood back while three of us screamed through the place, shoveling all sorts of goodies into our arms.

I haven’t had that much fun eating and chatting in a long time.  It was a lot like going home.

That’ll hold me over until November.


  1. Sujitra   •  

    I think Yai has even been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservation for the LA episode!

    And I had to comment on what a coincidence Bahn Kanom Thai… I happened to be in town visiting my parents in LB and went to Bahn Kanom Thai Saturday evening with my mom. I was able to come away with only fried banana and kanom tien — as my mom insisted she could make any other dessert I wanted. They must get that a lot… Thais wandering in and going sentimental on their sweets.

  2. Ben Shingleton   •  

    And there’s me asking if you can get the same dishes in the States….

    The food looks really good.

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