What a Pair! 

Ruen Pair

Wednesday, Jan 10 2007

When it’s 3 a.m. in Hollywood and you want a chiliburger, you head for Tommy’s. If you need a bowl of noodles, Sanamluang. But when that very particular hunger kicks in and only a plate of fried morning-glory stems will do, it is Ruen Pair every time, a Thai-Chinese dive in town open until 4 a.m., worn and slightly sticky to the touch, but still the place you went after the bars closed and you were hungry for a pork-packed Thai omelet, that morning glory, or a dish of gleaming black thousand-year eggs buried under drifts of deep-fried shredded basil. You may have been better off getting your stewed-duck cravings, your noodle hunger and your curry fixations catered to elsewhere — but what the kitchen did well, it did extremely well. When Ruen Pair closed for remodeling last year, a lot of us panicked — in this part of the world, “remodeling” is often a euphemism for “will be replaced by a minimart,” when it isn’t a code word for purchasing a lot of neon and slinging ketchupy pad Thai. But the new, more spacious Ruen Pair, expanded into the former hair salon next door, is pretty much the same as the old one given a flat-screen TV or two, and the plutonium-dense pork with Chinese olives, the sausage salad and, should you get the hankering, the morning glory fried with black beans and garlic are all still pretty glorious. 5257 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd., (323) 466-0153.

—Jonathan Gold

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