We had the first night of our Hops ‘N Spice Thai Dinner Series at Whist this past Sunday in the Viceroy Santa Monica. Chris Crary put together a luscious menu of Thai dishes influenced by cuisine he came across during the Hops ‘N Spice Tour. It wasn’t just the flavors that were inspired by Thailand but also the presentation. The first course of Nam Prik Goong Siap, a Thai Crudités with Shrimp Paste dipping sauce, was served in a bag since many items you buy in Thailand, from noddles, rice dishes, soda to freshly sliced fruit are served in bags at various street markets and small restaurants. The “Thai Boat Noodles” was based off Chris’ favorite dish during the trip when he had Guay Teow Tom Yum served to him while sitting in a boat at the Floating Market. Served just like how Chris had it, sans river and boat, the dish was presented with all the ingredients in the bowl and the broth poured on top at the table. The Whole Fried Thai Snapper caused audible gasps as the sight of an entire fish, from head to tail, on a plate might not be the most common sight for many, but in Thailand, and throughout Asia, serving the fish whole is a sign of freshness. Fears and bewilderment were quickly cast aside after the first taste and many barren snapper bones were all that was left. All the dishes had some sort of kick to them, whether through pungent aromas or the presence of chili peppers, and dessert was no different. The Ginger Spice Cake was served with Coconut Sorbet that had just a bit of Thai Chili in them to give a slight tingle.
The dishes were all amazing that night. Chris, being the innovator that he is, will be creating an entirely new menu for the second installment of the Thai Dinner Series. We won’t know what’s on deck to be served until the night of when Kay Plunkett-Hogge (Author, blogger at KayCooks.com) joins us to give some insight on her experiences with Thai cuisine. For information on how to RSVP for the next night of the Thai Dinner Series, click here to see our Press Release.
We’d also like to thank Lindsay (@LAist, LAist.com) and Krista (@Kristasimmons), Esther (@EStarLA, EStarLA.com), Stacey (@DineLA, DineLA.com), Bee (@rasamalaysia), Mar (@LADNMarMendoza) and the folks at FoodGPS (@FoodGPS) for joining and sharing with us!