A few months ago, our good friend Janet flew back to Socal from Chicago. We picked her up at LAX around noon and immediately proceeded to do what we know best: eat (barring karaoke, of course).
After failing to find interesting dishes at the Songkran festival (documented here), my friend and I decided to eat at a sit-down place, Sapp Coffee Shop, a pretty prominent Thai food landmark in the area.
Sapp Coffee Shop is in a strip mall on Hollywood Blvd. It’s nondescript on the outside and similarly plain on the inside. At the recommendation of one of Alvin’s friends, we decided to try this place for ourselves.
Once inside, I was immediately taken back to Thailand (the King’s portrait is found in practically every shop). There are portraits of Thai kings hanging from practically all four walls. I won’t say anything critical about the Thai king (god forbid I fall foul of Thailand’s insanely strict lese majeste laws, which makes criticisms of the King or Crown Prince punishable with up to 25 years in prison), but Thailand’s monarchy has been able to cultivate a god-like aura surrounding the King by capitalizing on the country’s otherwise weak democratic institutions.
Sapp offers a variety of dishes not normally seen at Thai restaurants, including boat noodle soup. Everything is pretty cheap too ($5-7 per dish)! Another plus in my book.
We split the Thai boat noodles, noodles served in a rich and spicy broth of pork blood, innards and topped with fried pork skin, meat balls, and slices of pork. Found throughout Thailand as a street food, it has an interesting taste profile: spicy, sweet, salty and sour, all at once. Both of us weren’t exactly awed by the noodle soup. It was alright, but I didn’t like the noodles. I personally prefer Pa Ord Noodle (on Sunset), which allows you to customize the order (they offer 4 types of noodles). Sorry, Sapp!
(Apparently the dish people rave about is the boat noodle soup with beef, but since I don’t eat beef, I don’t have much of an opinion to offer.)
We also split the seasoned duck noodle soup, another common Thai street dish, made with a soy sauce base. Okay, not gonna lie, I was really disappointed with the portion size. The dish came with a measly four duck slices, and the broth to noodle ratio was pretty extreme.
Considering how salty duck noodle soup is, it’s not like I could have downed the broth alone. And yes, the dish was too salty for my sensitive taste buds. No go.
As for drinks, I was tempted by the cheap prices ($2), so we got a longan juice drink (listed as num lum yai) and Thai iced coffee, as the Thai iced tea had run out for the day.
P.S. Thanks for the pics, Alvin (even though I took most of them.)
Sapp Coffee Shop
5183 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027