Restaurant: Renu Nakorn
Location: 13019 Rosecrans Ave #105, Norwalk, CA 90650. (562) 921-2124
Date: October 11, 2015
Rating: Far, but really great Thai
I’m always up for some Thai adventures and Renu Nakorn, although very far and deep down in the inland empire off the 5 is the seed restaurant that gave birth to Lotus of Siam.
The strip mall they used to be in rebooted up into this bigger 2006 mall. The Chutima’s ran it back in the 90s and in 1999 solid it to their friends Pharchumporn Shonkeaw and Umpa Sripetwannadee. Named after the Renu Nakhon district of northeastern Thailand, it serves up Northern Thai cuisine.
2011 Domaine des Baumard Savennières. 89 points. Quite creamy on the nose with subtle, slightly funky aromas of animal hide, papaya and fennel. Medium-bodied and slightly soft with savory, flinty flavors of grass, hard lemon candy and tangerine.
Fried sweet corn special. They made this up for us special. Absolutely delicious. Crunchy and sweet.
Renu Nakorn Sausage. Grilled sour rice sausage, served with fresh chili, ginger & peanut. Sausage was super tasty, although very salty.
2005 Dönnhoff Schloßböckelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Spätlese. VM 91. Pale golden yellow.Subtle bouquet of pineapple, nut oil and lemon zest.The luscious yet crisp papaya fruit is brightened by a refreshing mineral character.Deceptively light and wonderfully drinkable.A charming riesling with a sweet/salty finish.
Nam-Prik-Noom (Green chili dip). Roasted green chili, garlic, onion and tomato pounded in mortar. One of the most popular dip of Northern Thailand, eaten with sticky rice, fried pork skin and fresh vegetable. Lots of flavor, not super hot by my standards.
2001 Weingut Johannishof (H.H. Eser) Rüdesheimer Berg Rottland Riesling Spätlese. 89 points. Peach, grapefruit and brown spice in the nose. Enormously rich and peachy in the mouth, expansive and bright across the palate. Effusively fruity, honeyed and spicy in the finish.
Special apple salad with salmon. The salmon was perfectly cooked, very mild yet flavorful.
2000 Erben von Beulwitz Kaseler Nies’chen Riesling Auslese**. 93 points. Sweet but not cloying.
Nam Kao Tod. Minced Issan sausage mixed with green onion, fresh chili, ginger, peanuts, crispy rice and lime juice. Super delicious, but incredibly salty.
2003 Le Haut-Lieu Vouvray Moelleux. 93 points. Sweet, with perhaps a touch of funk.
Nua Yum Katiem. Charbroiled spicy beef topped with fresh garlic and spicy sauce. Super delicious, and our spicy one actually had some heat (from those peppers). Lots of good garlic and acidic flavor too. The texture of the meat reminded me of tongue (in a good way).
2002 Inniskillin Vidal Sparkling Icewine. 93 points. Very nice. Few bubbles left, but what was left added just the right spark. Deep color. Flavors very concentrated. Probably near it peak, but showed zero hint of oxidation, so it may last quite a bit longer.
Northern Larb. A completely difference from the Is-san larb in taste, this Northern style larb (ground pork) is cooked with Northern Thai spices and no lime juice. Garnish with fresh herb and vegetable. Lots of flavor, a bit of heat, and extremely salty again.
2010 Rhys Pinot Noir San Mateo County. VM 94. The 2010 Pinot Noir (San Mateo County) is simply fabulous. Rich dark cherries, crushed flowers, mint and spices burst from the glass. This is a hugely delicious wine from Rhys. The 80% whole clusters are nicely balanced by the sheer depth of the fruit. This is a flat out stunning wine from Rhys. In 2010 the San Mateo is the entry-level Pinot. The 2010 is bottled under San Mateo appellation, as it includes fruit from Bearwallow (in Anderson Valley) rather than the more typical collection of sites from the Santa Cruz Mountains. Once again, one of the appellation-level Rhys Pinots shines.
Khao soi. Northern red curry with chicken and flat noodles.
In the individual bowl. I loved this, but I LOVE red curries, and I love noodles, so go figure.
Condiments for the curry.
2012 Horsepower Vineyards Syrah The Tribe Vineyard. 96 points. Total rocks rockstar. If you want to show someone Rock terrior, this is about as good as it gets. Super clean, but showcasing that ethereal burn olive and blood flavor. Good acid on the palate for being obviously higher PH. Long finish.
Drunken noodles, combination. Good stuff, we went through the noodles fast.
2007 Carlisle Syrah Bennett Valley. 91 points. Drinking quite well. Most of the group enjoyed it even more than I. Plums, black raspberries and some black pepper on the nose. Tannic. Good fruit but certainly not uber ripe. Starting to show some complexity, but certainly no hurry at all. It really is a beautiful wine.
Special green curry with pork, extra spicy. Loved this stuff, with a nice coconut flavor.
Bannana fritters with coconut ice cream. I only ate the ice cream, which tasted like ice milk or frozen coconut milk. It was okay.
Food was excellent, if a touch salty. Service was excellent. Only minus was the drive.
I still like Jitlada a bit better. Renu Nakorn has a different, more northern style, however. It also isn’t nearly as spicy. We asked them to give us nuclear hot dishes and they were only “hot”. My scalp never got sweating like it does at Jitlada.