Kid Hit Menu Items: I’ll never forget January 1, 2008, the first day I discovered the magic of making “rice balls” out of sticky trice for a sitting-still-resistant kid at Palm’s Thai restaurant. “Chicken on a stick” is often popular, just be careful of the peanut sauce. Otherwise, you can get Thai noodles, rice, meats, fish, and veggie dishes galore with some regional touches. Palm’s also makes fruit smoothies if you need bribery material, but I’d try to avoid the sugar-loaded, boba-optional drinks that make Jamba Juice seem like a militantly healthy hippie juice bar.
Adult Perks: Eat as conservatively or as adventurously as you like, since the Wild Things menu includes frog with green peppercorn in curry sauce and spicy chicken feet salad. Plenty of Singha beer flows through this room. Like most Thai Town (and in this case, TT adjacent) joints, Palm’s keeps super late hours and brings in a mixed crowd. (Not that restaurants open until 2 a.m. matter to most Taster Tots readers.) Lunch specials for $5.99 are cheap and filling.
Pros: The street level of the glamorous Hollywood Bronson storage facility might not be the most likely place for Hollywood’s most family-friendly Thai restaurant, but this is L.A. — we’ve all seen restaurants located in much stranger places. Some longtime Palm’s diehard fans might still lament the relocation from Thai Town proper, but overall the circumstances improved. (Man, do we miss being in Palm’s free delivery area, although the new Captain Thai across from the old Palm’s meets this need.)
Casual dining room of mess hall proportions? Check. Massive fish tank? Check. (Just don’t scare them.) Incredibly efficient and quick service? Check. Whimsical décor touches, such as cat statues perched above on the soffit? Check. Easier parking? Check. Open on major holidays when almost EVERYTHING else is closed? YAY! Thai Elvis? Still there, whether you love or don’t care for his act. And now you don’t have to feel guilty for going to Palm’s instead of the superior Ruen Pair across the way in Palm’s former strip mall home.
Cons: Palm’s huge capacity means a lot of people come here, and spill out the door during busy nights. It doesn’t receive the food nerd praise and L.A. blog scene love that, for example, gets showered upon Pa-Ord (which I’ll do with the older kid but not both boys at once) or Jitlada, but it’s hardly a terrible compromise either.
Changing Station: Yes
High Chairs: Yes, plus cute special higher chairs for toddlers. They’ll feel like royalty, perched above everyone else at the table. Or maybe some parents don’t want to imbue kids with that sense of grandeur.
Parking and Access: Parking is in the structure with a rear entrance into the restaurant. A $1.50-$2.50 valet fee still annoyingly applies even when it’s not busy and you self-park. They don’t charge, however, if you’re running in to grab take out.
Other Tidbits: I’ve recently learned Palm’s Thai truly has a way of capturing the imagination. In fact, so much so that our four-year-old’s bedtime chatter last night will provide the coda to this post.
“Let’s turn our house into Palm’s restaurant. We’ll get rid of the beds, the chairs, the books, and the changing table. And put in a big Thai Elvis statute made out of bike chains. And we’ll have Thai food, and two blenders to make fruit smoothies. And a big fish tank with sea urchin and fish, and two long tables in front of it that fit a lot of people. We’ll have seats and a kitchen, and a bathroom with urinals. And a covered parking lot with elevators.”
Thanks for being useful, kid!
P.S. A brand new dubious honor: Palm’s makes it onto CNBC’s list of American’s Weirdest Restaurants.
5900 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood
Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – midnight; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.