Sapp Coffee Shop | 99 Essential Restaurants 2015

Sapp Coffee Shop

photo by Danny Liao

Who makes the best boat noodle soup in Thai Town? It’s destined to be a debate that won’t be resolved to anyone’s satisfaction, but it’s perhaps enough that most everyone agrees on the primary contenders. Which, of course, include Sapp Coffee Shop, the homey restaurant in a tiny plaza on Hollywood Boulevard. Sapp’s version of kuay teow reua arguably is just as deeply funky, just as laced with blood and bobbing meatballs, as most other versions in town, but maybe it’s because the dining room feels like the extension of someone’s kitchen that it tastes somehow more comforting and the ambiance feels more comfortable. Note that there’s not much on the menu at Sapp that will leave you unsatisfied; its cold jade noodles with BBQ pork, duck breast and bits of crab is almost as famous as its boat noodles, and its sen chan pad pu, a stir fry with rice noodles, chile garlic and crab, is pretty terrific. Terrific enough, anyway, that you’ll forget you were debating anything at all. —Tien Nguyen