The path to Spicy BBQ in Hollywood is well trodden. Midtown Lunch, Food GPS and Jonathan Gold have left markers pointing the way to this tiny outpost in a strip mall on Santa Monica Blvd & Normandie. There are seats for roughly 20 people inside and with reasonable prices and excellent food, there can be a wait to be seated.
Based on prior intel, my compatriot and I ordered from the Northern Thai section of the menu and were particularly exited to try the elusive khao soi (below), described on the menu as Northern Thai Egg Noodles. The key ingredient was the egg noodles which were soft and just a little sweet. The dish also included chicken, cilantro, coconut milk. Pickles and a lime wedge were served alongside it and the waitress (owner?) insisted that we stir them in. There were allegedly crispy noodles on top but either they got soggy before we got to them or they were never there. In any case, this is a dish worth returning for.
We also tried the namesake dish of the restaurant, Spicy BBQ, which is beef barbequed and served off of the bone with a spicy Thai dipping sauce. (There is a choice between beef & pork for this dish). We ordered sticky rice to accompany this and the following dish. The sauce on the beef had some heat but was manageable. The beef had been marinated and had a good flavor.
The waitress also suggested that we order Nam Prik Noom, a spicy Northern Thai relish made from roasted green chili. It was served with green onion and cilantro on top and lettuce and cucumber on the side to dip into it. The sticky rice was also suggested as a dipping vehicle. This dish was seriously spicy and the two of us only barely scratched the surface, even after we had eaten all of the dipping veggies. A Thai friend later commented to me that she sometimes uses roasted eggplant in this dish to lessen the heat. I enjoyed it, but a little goes a long way.
I left Spicy BBQ thinking, why didn't I come here before? It is a great value, the service is efficient and most importantly the food is seriously good and as a bonus they aren't afraid to serve spicy food and didn't seem to tone it down for Westerners.
Please not that Spicy BBQ is Cash Only. Also the bathroom is upstairs in the minimall; you obtain a key from the waitress. Ample parking in the minimall parking lot.
Spicy BBQ: 5101 Santa Monica Blvd @ Normandie, Hollywood. Phone: (323) 663-4211.