I met John Sungkamee at Taste of The world in Hollywood a few weeks back. Emporium Thai’s food was the best food out of 15 or so restaurants. John was so sweet and asked me to come in and do a proper tasting. His confidence in his restaurant and his good nature made me very curious. I was pleasantly surprised at how much attention to flavor and detail his luscious cuisine is. John greets everyone that comes in and walks around to every table to see how his customers are enjoying their meal. John was a software engineer and quit his job 4 years ago to help his family with the restaurant. At the far side of the restaurant sits a photo of a very sweet woman. His mother Supis was a fixture for many years at Emporium Thai, but sadly she passed away last December and was 88 ½, John has her photo there to remind him of her love every day. Supis instilled in her family a passion for authentic Thai cooking. In 1990 Supis won a green card lottery which allowed their family to become US immigrants and eventually US citizens, the rest is history.
John has 11 siblings and one of his sister’s Jazz is the owner of Jitlada, I did a review a few years back. So for me this was an all in the family type of review. However Emporiums menu is completely different from hers. Jitlada has been in business since 2006 and Emporium has been in business for 17 years. With all of their fame I felt that Emporium’s food was equally delicious and when you’re on the West side you really need to try their scrumptious cuisine.
Emporium Thai has recently been redesigned by Peter Gurski, a two-time Emmy winning interior designer. The interior is soothing with a great water feature in the middle of the dining room and background jazz rounds out the cool vibe.
Here’s what I tried:
Chardonnay, Eden Valley, CA. Harmonious and complex, like a creamy burrata mouth feel with crisp apple acidity and touch of oak. This wine went great with the seafood curry.
Sapporo, a beer is always a great pair with this spicy food.
Thai Chicken Dumpling, the dumpling is nice golden brown, crispy, all that you would expect and love from a dumpling.
Crying Tiger Beef, beef in an iceberg lettuce bowl. This beef has a great flavor and is super tender.
Coco Mango Salad with Shrimp or Tofu – shredded raw mango mixed with dried coconut, fresh chili, limejuice. The sweet and tangy flavor combinations make for one delicious salad.
Tom Kha, with chicken in a rich coconut milk and lemon grass soup, with shrimp.
Pad See Ew Westwood with shrimp, and flat noodles with fried egg. I have tried this dish before but never like this, with its rich deep flavors, the best ever.
Thai Fried Rice, lots of great vegetable and nice flavor make this rice one to order.
Beef, beefsteak stir fried with fresh garlic, Thai basils and light soy sauce, and mixed vegetables. The meat is marinated with a great tender texture, one of my favorites of my experience.
Fish and Seafood Lovers:
Mixed Seafood Southern Curry, the presentation is just amazing, and the curry sweetness with all of the great fresh seafood, another great dish.
Mango with sticky rice, the rice was heart shaped and the mango is super sweet.
Margarita Martini: Made with TY Ku Soju instead of Vodka, very smooth and refreshing.
Thai Basil Mojito, also made with TY Ku Soju, lovely light refreshing cocktail.
Executive Chef, Gina Sungkamee, John’s sister, is passionate about cooking. She studied for four years at Bangkok’s most prestigious culinary school. She specializes in the cuisines of all regions of Thailand, particularly the cuisine of Southern Thailand, where their family grew up.
Emporium Thai’s many awards include: L.A City Guide: Most Favorite Thai Restaurant 2015 – Los Angeles Travel Magazine , L.A’s Best Thai Restaurant outside of Thai Town – Thrillist, Westwood’s Unmissable Restaurant-The Hip Side of LA 2015 – The Culture Trip (theculturetrip.com) ,THE BEST THAI RESTAURanT IN TOWN 2015 by AskAConcierge@AskAConciergeLA with Sarah Dandashy – One of The Leading Concierge in the World , People Love Us on Yelp Award 2015, U.S.A First Thai restaurant to partner with uberEATS, delivers via uber_LA – uberEATS, Emporium Thai Cuisine has been voted one of the 100 best Thai Restaurants in the US.
Emporium Thai Cuisine uses only the finest ingredients bought locally, they purchase their vegetables from the nearby farmer markets and we shop for fresh seafood, meats and produce daily. They offer a variety of gluten-free and peanut-free items as well as vegetarian and vegan options, also delivery, pick-up and extensive catering service. They have a good happy hour Mon-Sat. 3pm-6pm, with some great prices on food and drink.
Their mission is simple “To create such a memorably wonderful Thai dining experience that you’ll want to return to Emporium Thai often, and rave about us to your friends”. Simply, Khob-Kun-Krub – “Thank You” in Thai.
1275 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
* Note some content was taken off of their website.