The only Thai faces you'll see are in the kitchen and servicing the dining room. But this says more about the community of Laguna Beach than it does about the authenticity of the food. It makes no sense why there are futbol pendants that function as theming. And the place looks more like a breezy fish taco stand than something that serves panang and pad Thai. They've got exactly three parking spaces in a lot shared by an apartment complex, which posts dire warnings should you even think about stealing one of their spots. Most nights, people come in and out picking up phone orders of their best dish: a fruity house fried rice with raisins, grape tomatoes and pineapple. The coconut-milk-enriched tom kah soup also uses those tomatoes. This soup relies on other domestic veggies rather than the exotic. But it's a good brew--a sip as warming as any you've had in LA's Thai Town or even Bangkok itself.
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Laguna Beach is the New York of OC's restaurant scene. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Proof: Katsuya, that high-priced, high-concept sushi joint that has branches at LA Live and Brentwood, didn't last more than t...