Adventurous eaters flock to Pa Ord for the 1) boat noodles, a funky soup with broth that’s thickened with pork blood and full of offal. I’d never tried the it until this week, but I felt like I had to given that the dish is mentioned on practically every LA Weekly “You Have To Eat This Now” type of list, and while once was enough I’ll admit that it wasn’t terrible in taste. If you have a sliver of Andrew Zimmern in you, give it a shot.
It’s not just the boat noodles that keep people coming back to Pa Ord, however. Garret Snyder wrote it best, saying that Pa Ord offers “the Bitches Brew of Bangkok cuisine.” Though I won’t personally equate a bowl full of unmentionables to anything put forth by Miles Davis, I understood the metaphor when I went back for seconds and thirds of 2) larb, spicy ground pork mixed with lime, mint leaves. Packed with flavor (and spice), I felt sad to be sharing the dish four ways. Something to note: They’re not joking around when they label something spicy on the menu. Even if you ask for a specific dish to be prepared mild, it will burn your tongue. No matter what.
We also sampled the 3) Thai sausage and an order of 4) crispy pork and veggies. That pork was really crispy. I’d call it overdone really, but others in our party dug it, so. To each his own. I ate all the pork-flavored choy, and it was heavenly.
It’s not the best place to dine if you’re a vegetarian, but you could go and stick with the papaya salad and some stir fried veggies over rice. Throw in some Thai iced tea or coffee for good measure.