A trip to downtown Hollywood offers an opportunity to dine around the world. Here’s an established spot and two new ones we visited recently.
- It’s been a few years since Nakorn Thai relocated to the Ramada Inn on Harrison Street, and the move was a definite upgrade. With its dark orange walls and Asian art, it’s special enough for a date night yet comfortable enough to bring the kids. The Thai-Japanese menu is so large, it’s best to order a selection for the table to share. There’s a wide range of noodle dishes, sautés, curries and sushi. Basil chicken with sautéed fresh basil leaves, garlic, onions, snow peas and bell peppers is nicely spiced without being overpowering while the fresh vegetables have just the right crunch. The Panang curry is another winner, with lime adding balance to the creamy sauce. Steer clear of flavorless Pad See U (stir-fried rice noodles).
- Sleek black-and-orange Borojo is a Colombian blend of fast-casual and more formal dining. Most dishes average $8.50 or less, but food arrives via waiter service on real plates. Gourmet arepas are the stars of the menu. Shrimp, pork loin, chicken or beef is served atop a thin white corn cake with melted mozzarella cheese (think open-faced pita sandwich). We were impressed with the amount of pork loin and shrimp on the Cañon con Camarones. Share a side of fries or a salad and it’s plenty for dinner. Perros, Colombian hot dogs, are the other signature item. Eclectic Chori Perro, a smoked sausage topped with mozzarella, crushed potato chips, bacon and a variety of sauces works surprisingly well.
- Newcomer Mexchino isn’t quite sure what it wants to be. Half the large, colorful space is sit-down dining, while the other is a sports bar with pool tables. On a recent Saturday night, the bar area was empty at 8:30 and only a half-dozen tables were occupied. The menu has more than a dozen appetizers aimed at the bar crowd, with a typical collection of chicken wings, potato skins, fried calamari and chicken tenders. Spinach artichoke dip arrived lukewarm and watery, albeit with a nice portion of blue crab on top. There are also salads and basic Mexican favorites like burritos, enchiladas and tacos. The Burrito MexChino is an under-stuffed version of a classic with no standout flavors. The “Chino” part of the menu arrives via fajitas, which taste like a Chinese stir-fry in a brown sauce. While the portion was generous, the dish was too wet to roll in tortilla shells and would work better over a bed of rice.