The Kuntee family was one of the first to get into the Thai restaurant business in Los Angeles, starting Chao Krung over 50 years ago. Their daughters, Katy Noochlaor and Amanda Kuntee, have been working on refreshing their families’s eateries and after 23 years in the Pico-Robertson area, moved Tuk Tuk Thai west to Sawtelle.
The new location is just south of Santa Monica Blvd., near the Nuart Theatre, but further afield from the main stretch of Sawtelle. Their interior is very, very pink, with an outdoor patio area offering additional dining.
The menu has starters ($8-13), rice ($15-19), noodles ($15-19) and entrees ($16-21). The panang curry with just tofu and vegetables cost a hefty $17, though the portion size was good, with a lot of tofu and veg, and came with a side of rice. There are four different heat levels to choose from – mild to spicy like hell. I chose medium, which had the perfect amount of spice for a weakling like myself. The curry was rich and flavorful.
Sidewalk pad thai ($15 for tofu+veggie) was very vegetable-forward, with lots of bok choy – probably the first time I’ve encountered the vegetable in pad thai (and in the curry as well) – and two kinds of tofu. While the dish did not knock-my-socks-off, it was a decent rendition.
During weekdays, they offer a $17 Lunch Fixe, somewhat pricey for a lunch special, but it comes with a main, side and dessert. With Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Filipino food already on the Sawtelle scene, Tuk Tuk fulfills that Thai food void.
Location – 1638 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Website – https://www.tuktukthailosangeles.com
Kid’s Menu – n/a
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes