The Pa-Ord in East Hollywood has long been a home to good eats, particularly the kuay tiew rua, known as boat noodles to the rest of us. Hipsters looking to taste the fire ride over from Los Feliz or Silver Lake with alarming regularity, packing the old cash-only spot on the weekends, especially when the temperature dips into Los Angeles chill factor territory (less than 70 degrees).
At the new Pa-Ord in the strip mall on the northeast corner of La Brea and Sunset, there's a scrubbed-up feel to the place. That's partly because it's still brand new, having opened its doors less than a month ago inside the old Thai Foon space.
There's lots of clean new tile, slippery plastic menus and a credit card machine -- gasp! -- next to the register. That's the sort of thing you just don't find in Thai Town. Over here on the western edge of Hollywood as it turns into the Sunset Strip, there's also a change in clientele. Pa-Ord is already pulling in a strong lunch crowd, thanks to the neighboring offices that line Sunset Boulevard, and their take out business with the young Hollywood condo types up the street has been doing pretty well itself. All of that equals credit card transactions and quick, approachable tables for the lunch rush, neither of which you'll find at the East Hollywood location.
Thankfully, you'll still find those boat noodles at the new Pa-Ord outpost. You'll also find the crispy pork, fried squares of nearly gelatinous swine that offer a nice bite to accompany slices of broccoli that are swimming in soy sauce. There are the namesake noodles too, often wide flat in that pad se-ew style, with a sweet and sticky side that manages to find its way onto all of your clothing. The pad thai is also worth an exploratory effort, just be sure to ask for 'mild' when the waitress requests your placement on the heat index. Anything higher than that and you're likely to steam the place up like a sweat lodge. Don't worry though, the waitresses still pour a mean glass of water.
The new Pa-Ord Noodle is a nice addition to a corner that houses little more than fast food options and check cashing destinations, and it's sure to continue being a hit with nearby offices. For now, early evenings are still relatively slow, which means you can enjoy a table without waiting, and breezily pay for your boat noodles using a credit card. After that first face-searing slurp of brackish broth, you'll know that the more things change at Pa-Ord Noodle, the more that fire stays the same.