Holy Basil Review – Thai Restaurant Los Angeles

holy basil review - thai restaurant los angeles

First Impressions of Holy Basil

Stepping into Holy Basil for the first time, I was immediately taken in by its modern, sophisticated ambiance. This Thai restaurant, located in the Hotel Figueroa in Downtown LA, is a “glistening beacon” within the reenergized space, according to a review by The Infatuation.

Location and Ambiance

Holy Basil is conveniently located at 261 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015, with operating hours from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM on most days, as listed on Yelp. The location is easily accessible, making it a prime spot for both locals and tourists looking for a taste of authentic Thai cuisine.

The restaurant has a certain charm that’s evident from the moment you walk in. With wooden ceilings, soft white lighting, and elegant furniture, Holy Basil provides a cozy yet upscale dining experience. The attention to detail in the design and decor truly sets the stage for an exceptional meal.

Service and Atmosphere

One aspect that stands out in my Holy Basil review is the excellent service. The staff was attentive and friendly, enhancing the overall dining experience. The welcoming atmosphere made me feel at home, and the staff’s knowledge of the menu was impressive. Their recommendations were spot-on, piquing my curiosity and taste buds for the culinary journey ahead.

The atmosphere at Holy Basil was relaxed yet lively. The buzz of conversation mixed with the clinking of dishes created a pleasant backdrop to the dining experience. The space was comfortably filled, suggesting that this Thai spot is a popular choice among the locals.

My first impressions of Holy Basil were overwhelmingly positive. From the stylish decor to the impeccable service, this restaurant set the bar high for the rest of my meal. The welcoming atmosphere and the promise of authentic Thai cuisine made me eager to explore the rest of the menu, and I couldn’t wait to dive into the main course.

For more food adventures and reviews, check out our other reviews of the best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles.

Analyzing the Menu

Before diving into the food tasting, let’s take a look at the menu of Holy Basil. The menu is a mix of classic Laotian and Thai dishes, which are well-priced and great for groups (Not Quite Nigella).

Signature Dishes

One of the signature dishes at Holy Basil is the deep-fried ice cream. But before we get to dessert, the savory dishes also hold their own. The beef massaman curry with sweet potato is a popular choice, featuring lusciously soft beef that melts in the mouth. The sauce is described as rich, sweet, and balanced with tamarind, with aromatic spices like star anise, cinnamon, and bay leaves. It seems to be a dish that leaves a lasting impression on the patrons.

Unique Offerings

Holy Basil offers a few unique dishes that set it apart from other Thai restaurants. One such dish is the pork belly stir-fried with pineapple, capsicum, beans, basil, bamboo shoots, and chili. Even if you’re not usually a fan of pork belly, this dish might change your mind. It’s noted for its sweet, spicy, and sticky sauce.

The Thai papaya salad is another standout, presenting a fiery mix of shredded green papaya, cabbage, chilies, and beans. The salad is quite spicy, but could do with more peanuts and garlic for added crunch and flavor.

Finally, Holy Basil’s deep-fried snapper with a sweet and sour tamarind sauce, pineapple, tomato, basil, and chili is worth mentioning. It’s served boneless for easy eating. However, while the presentation was impressive, the fish was a bit dry. I must admit I generally prefer steamed or grilled fish when dining at Thai or Chinese restaurants.

While Holy Basil offers a range of tantalizing dishes, it’s always worth exploring other options. If you want to compare it with other Thai restaurant menus, take a look at our reviews of Jitlada, Saladang, or other best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles.

Tasting the Food

The true test of any restaurant lies in its flavors. Here’s my personal take on Holy Basil’s offerings.

Appetizers and Salads

Starting off the meal was the Thai papaya salad, a generous pile of shredded green papaya, cabbage, chilies, and beans. The salad had a fiery kick to it, living up to its reputation as a staple Thai dish. However, I would have preferred more peanuts and garlic in the mix to add a bit more crunch and flavor. But if you’re a fan of spice, this dish will hit the spot.

Main Courses

Moving onto the main courses, the beef massaman curry with sweet potato was a standout dish. The beef was lusciously soft, practically melting in my mouth, and the sauce was rich, sweet, and perfectly balanced with tamarind. The aromatic spices like star anise, cinnamon, and bay leaves added a depth of flavor that was truly satisfying (Not Quite Nigella).

The dish of pork belly stir-fried with pineapple, capsicum, beans, basil, bamboo shoots, and chili was another highlight. I’m not usually a fan of pork belly, but this dish won me over with its sweet, spicy, and sticky sauce.

On the other hand, the deep-fried snapper with a sweet and sour tamarind sauce, pineapple, tomato, basil, and chili was a bit of a letdown. While the boneless serving made it easy to eat, I found the fish a bit dry. Personally, I usually prefer steamed or grilled fish options in Thai or Chinese restaurants.

Desserts and Beverages

While I didn’t delve into their desserts during this visit, Holy Basil’s innovative approach to traditional Thai flavors left a lasting impression. Dishes like the crab curry fried rice, beef cheek red curry, and wagyu beef salad elevate the dining experience to a higher level.

Overall, the food at Holy Basil captures the essence of Thai cuisine while adding a modern twist. If you’re curious about other Thai dining options in Los Angeles, check out my reviews of Jitlada, Saladang, and Ruen Pair.

Comparing with Other Thai Restaurants

In the vibrant culinary landscape of Los Angeles, Holy Basil stands shoulder to shoulder with some of the best Thai restaurants in town. Let’s take a look at some of the prominent competitors and how Holy Basil holds its own.

Notable Competitors

One of the formidable competitors in the Los Angeles Thai food scene is Pa Ord Noodle. A staple in Thai Town for over 20 years, Pa Ord Noodle is loved for its incredible dishes like tom yum noodles and boat noodles. They also serve a refreshing papaya salad in various styles, which is a crowd favorite (Tasting Table).

However, it’s not just about Pa Ord Noodle. LA is home to a plethora of amazing Thai restaurants. For a comprehensive overview of the best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles, check out our guide to the best thai restaurants in los angeles.

Unique Selling Points

So, what sets Holy Basil apart from the competition? After all, the LA Thai food scene is vibrant and diverse, with each restaurant bringing its own unique flavors to the table.

For starters, Holy Basil is located in the Hotel Figueroa in Downtown LA, serving as a “glistening beacon” within the reenergized space. The modern, sophisticated destination delivers consistent, high-quality Thai cuisine with an extensive menu, appealing to a wide variety of palates.

But what truly sets Holy Basil apart are its innovative dishes. The crab curry fried rice, beef cheek red curry, and wagyu beef salad are just a few examples of how they elevate traditional Thai flavors to a higher level. These unique offerings make each visit to Holy Basil an exciting culinary adventure.

Finally, the outstanding service at Holy Basil also deserves a mention. Reviewers commend the attentive staff and welcoming atmosphere that enhance the overall dining experience.

In conclusion, Holy Basil’s unique location, innovative menu, and exceptional service set it apart in the competitive landscape of Thai cuisine in Los Angeles. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or just exploring Thai cuisine, Holy Basil offers a memorable dining experience worth checking out.

Customer Reviews and Ratings

When it comes to understanding the appeal and reputation of Holy Basil, customer reviews offer valuable insights. Here, I’ve compiled an overview of the positive feedback and areas of improvement mentioned in customer reviews.

Positive Feedback

Holy Basil in Los Angeles has an impressive average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars on Yelp, based on 1,282 customer reviews, as of November 2023 (Yelp).

The restaurant is often praised for its flavorful and authentic Thai dishes and reasonable prices. Customers appreciate the generous portion sizes and quick service. The friendly and attentive staff also frequently get a shout-out in the reviews, contributing to the overall positive dining experience.

According to The Infatuation, Holy Basil is a “glistening beacon” within the Hotel Figueroa in Downtown LA. The modern and sophisticated ambiance, coupled with consistent, high-quality Thai cuisine, has made Holy Basil a popular choice for Thai cuisine in Los Angeles.

Areas of Improvement

Despite the largely positive reviews, there are a few areas where customers feel Holy Basil could improve. Some customers have mentioned that the restaurant can get quite busy during peak hours, leading to longer wait times. Also, while most find the food flavorful, a few customers have noted that some dishes can be a bit too spicy for their taste.

In terms of customer service, while the majority of feedback is positive, a few customers have shared experiences where the service was less attentive than they would have liked, particularly during the busiest times.

However, it’s worth noting that the restaurant’s management seems responsive to feedback and often addresses these issues in their replies to customer reviews, indicating their commitment to continuous improvement.

Overall, the positive feedback far outweighs the areas of improvement, suggesting that Holy Basil is indeed one of the best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles. I definitely recommend giving it a try!

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

After my visit to Holy Basil, I’m more than eager to share my recommendations for those interested in experiencing this Thai gem in Los Angeles.

Best Time to Visit

Holy Basil operates from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM on most days, providing ample time for both lunch and dinner. However, if you’re aiming to beat the crowd, I’d suggest planning your visit in the afternoon, just after their opening hours. The ambiance is more relaxed, and the staff can provide even more attentive service, not that it’s lacking during peak hours.

Must-Try Dishes

Holy Basil offers a plethora of dishes that cater to different taste buds, but some stood out a notch above the rest. The Pork Belly Stir-Fried is an absolute treat. Cooked with pineapple, capsicum, beans, basil, bamboo shoots, and chili, this dish delivers a perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and sticky delight (Not Quite Nigella).

The Crab Curry Fried Rice is another dish that elevates the traditional Thai flavors to an entirely new level (The Infatuation). And, of course, don’t forget their Pad Thai and Basil Fried Rice, which are popular dishes among the customers.

To round off the meal, the Deep Fried Ice Cream is a must-try. This signature dessert offers a unique end to a flavorful meal (Not Quite Nigella).

In conclusion, Holy Basil creates a wonderful dining experience that combines traditional Thai flavors with innovative twists. The attentive service, welcoming atmosphere, and delectable cuisine make it a must-visit spot in Los Angeles. For more information on Thai restaurants in the city, check out our reviews of best thai restaurants in Los Angeles.

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