Red Pearl Kitchen
6703 Melrose Ave

The Scene: Metrosexual Hot
Cuisine: Pan Asian Fusion
Must Try: Close your eyes and point to a menu item
Star Rating: 3
Average Cost: Prix fixe is the best option $45-$75

Only in L.A. can you eat dinner with gorgeous people all around you, AND be in a reality show at the same time. “The Hills” was filming at the table next to us, and we couldn’t decide who was more beautiful, the women or the men.

The Dining Duo enjoyed an Asian feast each time at the new, happening and hopping Red Pearl Kitchen. At the site of the old Alex & Citrus, just west of Highland, the only thing that remains the same is the odd floor. You hardly notice it once you walk past the attractive valet girls and through large exotic carved wood doors, it feels as though you’ve entered a South-East Asian opium den of another century. There’s a separate bar and lounge area, and the restaurant is a giant room filled with lanterns, warm creamy booths and dark teak wood tables.

The crowd is definitely young and pretty, and very metrosexual; the wait staff matched the look. That always makes eating a little more fun. Yet if you strip away the appealing fa├žade, you’re still left with great service and dynamite food prepared by the Thai chef, Ped, who brings the influences of his homeland and those around him to each and every dish. The tasting menu, which the chef creates on the spot, is the best way to dine, and even though one half of the Dining Duo is a bit of a control freak (guess which one), we relented and ate so many interesting and tasty dishes that we just about burst ($45 or $75 per person).

For some of the highlights start with Dim Sum; the Ribs simmered in strawberries and cinnamon ($9) were a taste sensation and the Teriyaki glazed chicken ($9) put a whole new spin on an Asian staple. The use of exotic spices made the Udon Noodles smothered with a generous amount of duck and yellow curry sensational ($11). Chef Ped is big on shrimp, and every variation we tried was superb. Try the Black pepper and caramel shrimp ($16) and see what we mean. The chicken and mango fried rice, laced with basil, ($10) was outdone only by the Udon noodles simmered in bacon, smoky miso and topped with a fried egg ($12).

In true orgasmic style, even the desserts are called “happy endings”, and they were; don’t miss the Vietnamese Coffee Sundae which just about made us have our own happy endings ($6). Hang on to your receipt because if you come back the following Monday, regardless of how many folks you bring, the eats are half price on everything.

Posted by The Dining Duo | 3:31 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

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