For a number of reasons clear to anyone who ever stepped inside, Thai Market in Palms didn't work out so well and recently called it quits. The shutter could end up being a very good thing for its neighbors, however, as the owner's brother, Paul Tritipvitya**, took over the space and expanded it into a new Thai Cafe called Moo Moo, opening the refreshed concept two weeks ago on Venice Blvd. The new space is a clear improvement, as is the menu, which replaces a scant selection of pre-made, heated Thai recipes with a huge menu (by non-Thai standards) of 66 dishes.
Moo Moo's menu, besides having an adorable logo of a tiny piglet, gives us hope for Westside Thai that goes somewhere beyond Chinese dishes and U.S. Thai standards. There's a generous list of noodle soups, with offerings like kouy jub, a flat noodle with pork offals, deep fried pork, and fried tofu, as well as interesting arrangements like Thai-style sukiyaki, lemon pork salad, pork-stuffed noodles, kra-pow with pork belly, Thai pork omelettes, Thai sausage, and pork jerky. Yes, they do like their pork here.
Most of the usual favorites are in abundance as well, with everything from pad see ew to crab fried rice and Chinese Hainan chicken rice. Desserts sound tempting, with homemade caramel custard, golden fried bananas wrapped in eggroll sheets, and (ulp!) more shaved ice. We're yet to try the cooking here at Thai Market "take two," but can already tell Moo Moo has taken a step well ahead of its predecessor.
Moo Moo Thai Cafe, 11127 Venice Blvd. #10. Palms. 310-287-9999.
** The spelling of the owner's name has been corrected from an earlier post that spelled it "Tritipuitya."