Toi “Rockin’" Thai.
Hm. Does Toi Rockin' Thai thinks it's a star athlete but it forgot its quotation marks?!
I don’t go around calling myself Sarah “Delicious” Manning. Right. What am I? Some kind of fool? It’d be Sarah "The Delicious" Manning. :)
Really though, Toi Rockin' Thai has the silliest name in the world for a restaurant. I take that back. After California Roll and Sushi Fish and all the Pho 1-999 that you think are related but are not, Toi Rockin' Thai has the third stupidest name in the world. Do they not know that no one would actually ever go there because they feel too stupid to say, "Hey guys? I'm kinda cravin' Toi Rockin' Thai?" Because they have to pause after "Toi," lean their head ever so slightly in for emphasis, lift their hands up and make the two-finger air-quotes, "Rockin'," pause, "Thai?"
Besides, why must it validate itself as Toi Rockin' Thai, hot enough to be "woo hoo rocking!!!1!11," and cool enough to leave off that final "g?" Furthermore, why must every Thai restaurant call itself "Thai?" Why can't it just be "Toi Rockin'?" Never mind. Why can't it just be "Toi?"
I feel better now.
But I certainly didn't feel better after eating at Toi ROCKIN' Thai (now I just feel like I have to emphasize the Rockin') some time after we turned into pumpkins. Westside late night dining options are limited, and though the customary choice is twenty-four hour tortilla chips dripping with liquid lard, oozing cheese and doused with two kinds of salsa fire, we opted for something healthier - like greasy Thai food, open until 3 am every day. I suppose technically, Thai food does offer wiser options, like soups and salads, but it was late, we weren't completely sober, our judgment got the worst of us. I mean, we did end up in a place called Toi Rockin' Thai afterall.
We weren't there because we were necessarily hungry. We just wanted to make sure that if our livers were going to suffer the morning after, we should afford our stomachs the same kind of opportunity. More than anything, I was parched, so I was craving a brothy soup. With the tom yum kai, we ordered a plate of fried wontons, qualified by the logic that the oil would dilute any remnants of alcohol in our stomachs, and the carbohydrates would soak it all up. At 1 am, anything is rational.
Toi was nowhere near as rockin' as it would have us believe. Besides ourselves comfortably crammed into one of the booths along the wall, there was a semi-rowdy motley crew that looked not like a punk band, but the less flashy, not nearly as lip-glossed #1 fan club of a punk band. After we ordered, we spent quite a bit of time admiring the rockin' decor, for as rockin' as the place was, the kitchen was slow. Garden/lawn lights have been attached to the wall with what looks like re-worked coat hangers. They light up tabletops that are laminated to protect a collage of rockstar magazine and newspaper clippings. The walls from ceiling to floor are a haphazard montage of band posters, album covers and other rock memorabilia. It's kind of like the little Thai taxi tuk-tuk that's proudly on display in the front had just completed 150 laps for the Indy 500 inside a Hard Rock Cafe.
The food was exactly what I expected for Asian late night dining. The soup was red, a thin film of oil shimmering on the surface and clinging as tiny droplets in a halo around the sides of the bowl. It wasn't too spicy, which was probably better for a GI tract that was walready working overtime. I had to pick out the cilantro, but I didn't mind. The wontons definitely tasted like they had been deep-fried in oil that had been used all day to make decent-tasting food, and was on its last cycle before it had to be thrown out. I wasn't even aware that there was any sort of filling, so I made myself feel better by calling them wonton "chips," served with a sweet and sour "salsa." I didn't love it, but forced myself to choke down at least two or three for their medicinal effects.
By the time we were settling our check and were ready to leave, the punk fan club was still in high gear, and probably would be at Toi until the management shooed them out at 3 am. As we stumbled out past the tuk tuk and to our car parked at a meter out front, I could feel something gurgling inside my gut, and was only interested in getting home right away. I'm sure that whatever was "rockin'" in my gut had 90% to do with the earlier antics, and only 10% to do with Toi, but I can't be totally sure.
1120 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
** a year ago today, i had my first pizza-gasm and it's been reckless pizza abandon ever since **