In the past 7 years, I've seen this restaurant location change 3 times. Is it haunted? Is it too close to L.A.'s Original Farmers Market? "What iiiiiiss the deal?" (as Jerry Seinfeld would have it). Let's just hope the proverbial 3rd time's a charm – especially with the coincidence of Rama Restaurant's new 3rd location.
Enough with the 3's, let's break it down to 2. Two words come to mind when describing Rama: exotic and sensual. Before you step inside, a tranquil water garden and bronze mural catch your eye and your ears. Upon entering, a sea of tiny red flickering candlelights line every wall, and a giant life-like Bronze Buddha silently prays. Whether you choose to sit in the passionate dining room or the open-air patio, either way you'll feel the warm breeze of the LA sky (unless it's been raining). And if you know them well, you'll recognize songs from the Buddha Bar soundtrack.
Now on to the #1 thing I wanted to discuss:
- silky smooth, light & limey Fresh Shrimp Rolls with Carrots, Mung Bean Sprouts, Mint & Cilantro (6 for $10)
- a must order, velvety, creamy, nutty Classic Red Curry with Pork, Bell Peppers, Eggplant, Thai Basil & Jasmine Rice ($14)
- every astrological element, firey, watery, airy 'n earthy Cashew Nut Tofu with Roasted Chiles & Onions
- the whole meat 'n kaboodle Pineapple Fried Rice with Chicken, Chinese Sausage, Shrimp, Fried Egg, Pineapple, Tomato, Red Chiles, Green Onions, Cilantro, Cashews, & Madras Curry ($18)
For starters, definitely dive into the Fresh Shrimp Roll. Everything about it is delicate. The Rice Wrap is smooth, fluffy 'n tender. The Shrimp is sweet 'n plump. And the combination of Fresh Mint, Lime & Cilantro pairs well with the crunch of cooling Mung Bean Sprouts & sweet Julienne Carrots. The Peanut Sauce it's served with adds creaminess, but not spice.
Without a doubt, for your main course order the Red Curry with Pork. The Coconut Milk makes it velvety smooth 'n sweet. The Pork, although a tad chewy, adds saltiness to balance the sweet Nutmeg. And the Thai Basil, Bell Peppers & Eggplant give it some depth and crunch. It also comes with complimentary Jasmine or Brown Rice.
While the Cashew Nut Tofu is watery, it still doesn't take away from the nuttiness of the whole Cashews and the heat of the Roasted Chiles. The Tofu is sliced thinner than most I've had, which adds to its airiness too.
If you want the most bang for your buck, go for the Pineapple Fried Rice. It has just about every protein you could imagine – Chicken, Chinese Sausage sliced like Pepperoni, Shrimp & Fried Egg. Pair that with a bunch of Veggies and Aromatics and you got yourself a grand 'ole meal for two – maybe even three.
Our table of 8 was impressed by the food's quality and large quantity (enough to share or take home). The service, however, while kind was a little slow, especially considering we were one of the only tables there. Let's just say, depending on the night, your dining experience could be ultra romantic – a.k.a private.
7910 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90048. 323-592-3035.