Continuing my tour of Thai Gulch in North Hollywood, my next stop is one I hadn’t been to before, Rainbow Thai Cuisine. I’ve driven past the brightly colored and inviting little building hundred of times but never stopped in. Part of the reason is that’s not obvious where to park. There is a lot in the rear but they share it with an auto repair shop which can be pretty busy. The other alternative is to park right on Sherman Way which is what I ended up doing. The parking is on the street is for one hour starting after 9AM.
Inside the interior is equally colorful. There’s a TV set playing tuned to the Thai channel. They were playing some kind of strange hybrid between a soap opera and the Power Rangers. It was pretty cool.
To the food. Rainbow Thai has a full menu but also serves the small plates at $3.25 per. I immediately went for the small plates. First I ordered Suppan Noodle Soup. It’s a pretty good size bowl of soup with rice noodles, squid, fishcake, ground pork, pork balls and fish balls. It had sprinkling of toasted peanuts and hot pepper giving it a wonderful kick. The big surprise for me was the sliced green beans in the soup.
Suppan Noodle Soup
Next came the Thai Spaghetti, a small mound of rice noodles topped with curry sauce, fish balls, pickled greens, basil and, again, sliced green beans. The curry was thick with coconut milk and spices. You could hardly see the spaghetti. The fish balls were a playful touch, making it a Thai Spaghetti and meat balls. They also provided some more substance to the dish. Sometimes Thai Spaghetti can be a little too light, just noodles and curry sauce. The addition of the meat balls and the sliced green beans made it more filling.
My third dish the star of the meal. I ordered Pork Leg over Rice. I didn’t know what to expect. In some places “pork leg” meant pig’s trotter with a little of the shank. That’s not what they serve at Rainbow Thai. I received a real beauty. Chunks of falling apart pork meat tasting of star anise, a piece of stewed pork skin, half a hard boiled egg, pickled vegetables over steamed white rice. There was a little saucer of sweet chili paste on the side for additional seasoning. The dish really didn’t need it. The pork was so tender, juicy, and flavorful it would have done any BBQ fanatic proud. The pork skin was not crisp as some may like but it had been stewed to perfection. You could cut it with your chopsticks and it added richness to the dish like a pat of pork and anise flavored butter. There was so much flavor the rice didn’t need any soy or fish sauce.
Pork Leg over Rice
The three dishes together made for one very substantial lunch and all for just under $11. The only thing this place needs is a better parking situation.
Rainbow Thai Cuisine
13212 Sherman Way
North Hollywood, CA 91605-4688
Price Range: Under $10 per entrée and small dishes $3.25 each