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Celadon Thai Kitchen: A strip mall treasure for your list

January 11, 2010 | 12:27 pm

Finding the culinary treasures hidden in the concrete quilt of Los Angeles' strip malls is one of this city's hallmark traditions. Given the wealth of options, it's especially satisfying when you get in on the ground floor of a discovery. Which is why you might want to pilot yourself to an odd corner of our metropolis where Marina del Rey, Venice and Culver City rub noses to a new restaurant called Celadon Thai Kitchen.

Opened by lifelong friends Joey Tate and Santi Boonleerawath, Celadon celebrates simplicity and consistency with attention to detail. "We try to stick to the basics," Tate says. "I've seen Thai fusion, and personally, it just turns me off. I want people to know that we're focused on Thai food, and it's what we do best."

To that end, you'll find the usual stars on the menu: pad thai in a tangy peanut sauce; juicy chicken satay; rich tom kha gai soup in a peppery-red coconut broth; tongue-tingling panang curry; tender beef with chili and mint leaves; and the attendant Thai iced tea (a beer and wine license is pending).

To read the rest of Jessica Gelt's story, click here.

Photo: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times