Out of town report: Cholanda Thai Cuisine (Malibu)

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My dad and I decided to head to the Getty Villa in Malibu on a free Friday during on California vacation. After a long, hilly run in Simi Valley, I was starving so I suggested grabbing lunch off of the Pacific Coast Highway beforehand. My dad left the restaurant choice up to me, so after some googling, I decided we should try Cholanda Thai Cuisine, a casual Thai spot. The beautiful drive and sunny weather left me a fantastic mood as we pulled up to the cute blue beach shack right along the highway. We seated ourselves next to the window that looked out to PCH and quickly put in our orders: the sapalod (a red pineapple curry with shrimp, basil, tomatoes and coconut milk) with a side of brown rice for me, a red chicken curry for my father.

As we waited for our food, I took in charming ambiance of the restaurant. I found the place, with its wooden panels, cozy set-up and funky designs, absolutely adorable. Our two dishes arrived relatively quickly, and I was eager to replenish all the calories that I had burned during my painful half marathon training run (I suppose that is what happens when you wait until two weeks before your race to start preparing….). My sapalod came with a generous serving of perfectly cooked shrimp, and the curry was a good balance of sweet, creamy and slightly spicy. I really enjoyed it with the chewy brown rice. The serving size was perfect, I ate the entire dish which filled me up but did not make me feel overly stuffed. My dad’s spicy red chicken curry was also delicious. It was fragrant, creamy without being too rich, and the big chunks of chicken were tender and flavorful. Overall, it was a solid, inexpensive meal in a laid-back setting that filled us up for several hours.

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