A good guide is one who picks you up from the airport and says,”You hungry? Great, I know delicious Thai place. It’s a total dive.”
The thing I love about a 12-hour trip is that you have a very short window to have a bad meal. Couple it with a cousin that knows how to eat and you’re bound to have two great meals like this:
Dinner: Sri Siam Cafe makes a duck curry that melts in your mouth- pineapple, peppers, whole tomatoes and perfectly cooked duck. A Tom Kha Gai with some heat, a beef salad to cool you off, and a Sapporo to wash it down. Here the owner runs out in his chef’s coat to make a delivery, there’s neatly written Thai script on the whiteboard (OK, I don’t know what messy Thai script looks like), the “mild” means “damn spicy,” and you can bring your own beer in from the liquor store next door. A chill and authentic lil dive.
Breakfast: If the bacon waffle I had in NY and Jumpin Java’s Cinnamon-Kiss French Toast had to get in the ring together and battle it out for fattiest fat girl breakfast, I’m not sure who would win. The baguette is dipped in brandy egg batter and glazed in sugar and cinnamon, towered on top of caramelized bananas and walnuts, and showered with powdered sugar. I’ve never put aside a cup of butter and a bottle of syrup so immediately.
Jumpin Java is a pleasant throw back- The faded green and yellow color scheme hints at their 15 year history and so does the genuine friendliness of their servers. They’re nice, but not overly nice- cause they know you’ll wander back.
Oh! And if it’s a sunny day you can sit outside and then head over to the farmer’s market just two blocks down.
Got the travel bug?
http://jumpinjavarestaurant.com/ (Studio City)