Ayara Thai Cuisine

Los Angeles, California

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rating star

We've tried five or six Thai restaurants in Los Angeles and so far, this one is our favorite. While not a vegetarian restaurant, Ayara offers about twenty main dishes which can be ordered meatless (vegetarian) or with tofu.

The decor is classy without being snooty and the service is good. The food we had was delicious.

We ordered the fresh spring rolls, which normally come with shrimp and egg noodles, but we asked for them to be made without these. The kitchen was very accomodating of our request. The rolls were made with rice paper and stuffed with lettuce, carrots, basil leaves and tofu. They were served with peanut sauce. We liked them, though we felt they could have used more basil.

The Tom Kah soup, which was the next thing we ordered, was very tasty. Although the menu does not specify this, the soup can be ordered meatless. It has tangy, sweet and slightly spicy coconut base, with spices, herbs like fresh ginger and lemongrass, tofu and mushrooms. For $9, we got enough for four people.

We also ordered the Drunken Noodles (a stir fry of rice noodles with bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, carrots and basil leaves, made with a chili garlic sauce) with tofu, the Panang (red) Curry with a variety of vegetables, and the vegetarian Kra Tiem (vegetables cooked with roasted garlic, cilantro and black pepper). Everything was wonderful. My favorite was probably the Drunken Noodles but the Panang Curry gives them a run for their money. The entrees ranged between $7 and $9 each -- very affordable for Los Angeles. I have no doubt we will be frequenting this restaurant in the future.

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