Restaurant: Issan Station
Location: 125 N Western Ave unit 111, Los Angeles, CA 90004. (323) 380-5126
Date: March 3, 2023
Cuisine: Thai street food
Rating: Really bright and tasty
Bovon and Jeffrey sussed out this new KTown casual Thai place.
Semi-industrial strip front frontage.
The menu. Pretty lunch oriented.
Thai Iced Tea.
Isaan Sausage. Deep-fried sausages of fermented pork and glutinous rice. Very nice “gamey” and slightly sour sausages.
Crying Tiger. Charcoal grilled beef tenderloin. Great. Nice tender meat with lots of flavor and a delicious spicy/sweet sauce.
Golden Wings. Deep-fried fish sauce chicken wings. I was skeptical of these as I generally consider chicken wings a waste, but these were actually hot, juicy, and delicious. Not a ton of meat but nice and crispy.
Naked Shrimp Salad. Raw shrimps in spicy seafood sauce. This was a great salad, with very tender shrimp, mostly made by the spicy lime/chili “seafood sauce.” Underneath was a nice mix of celery and cabbage.
Pickled Crab Papaya Salad. Regular papaya salad with pickled crab. Great fresh flavor, crunchy texture, and a bit of funk from the delicious “pickled” raw black crab. Not for noobs, but delicious.
Tom Kha Soup. Coconut milk soup with mushroom, chili and tomato in a Thai herb broth. Served with mixed seafood. Wonderful rich broth flavor with lots of lemongrass and kafir lime. The seafood was nice. This was an excellent Tom Kha, although not quite as amazing as the super spicy one at Palms Thai.
Some of the seafood inside the soup.
Grilled Tilapia. Salt crusted.
The meat was very flavorful.
It was served with this fresh greens, the optional rice noodles, and a wonderful limey sauce.
Dtub Waan. Spicy pork liver with red onion, mint leaves, lime, rice powder, cilantro, coriander and green onion. Spicy. Thai liver and onions! Probably my least favorite dish, although well made for what it was, this was just a bit too livery.
Bamboo Shoots Salad. Shredded bamboo shoots with lime, red onions, chili powder, dried chilies, fermented fish sauce, cilantro, coriander mint leaves and green onion. Very “exotic” forward on the fish sauce flavor. Nice fiberous texture and extremely interesting, but not my favorite. It reminded me of Northern Thai Food Club.
Green Curry. Green curry with meat, bamboo shoot, chili, kaffir lime leaves and basil and chicken. Highly unusual light green curry with so much basil that it took on a pesto-like note. Tasty, but not super strong on the classic curry flavor.
Pad Kra Prao. Stir-fried minced meat with fresh chili and basil. Essentially like a larb, this pork dish was full of flavor. The sweet/spicy sauce was great and it was all very juicy with strong basil notes.
Fried Pork Spare Ribs. Fried marinated pork rib with sour taste. Our extremely nice server brought this as a gift. Fabulous pork nibblets with a delicious fried taste, sizzling hot, and with a nice sour flavor. Went very well with the ginger and garlic.
Pad See Eew. Stir-fried flat noodles with chicken, egg and broccoli in dark sauces. Very nice soft, sweet, savory noodles.
Overall, not only is Issan Station quite a deal, but they have an extremely good kitchen. The flavors are fresh and bright, tuned up a bit, not tuned down for American taste. Plenty of fish sauce etc. Nice modern plating, tastyfully done, but not fancy. They execute extremely well on what they have on the menu, but they don’t have the scope and breath of phonebooks like Jitlada.
After, we headed next door for some “snacks.”