On the Westside, we have Thai options like Natalee Thai, Pam's Place, Thai Dishes, Bangkok West Thai, Toi, Yangtze, and T's Thai. Well, I've been to them all, and none of them come even close to Cholada.
This restauarnt is a bit hard to find, but it's worth it. It's next to Something Fishy, right off of PCH, a minute or two before you see the Malibu sign if you're coming from the Westside. The parking lot is tiny, which can be a problem at times. As you walk in, employees will often be pulling fresh basil at a table to your left. You'll be greeted with a smile and asked to sit wherever you want.
At Cholada, you can sit indoors and enjoy an ocean view, or you can sit in their patio area in the back, which has a nice secluded feel to it, plenty of plant life, and heating poles for chilly days and nights.
I always order vegetarian pad Thai, so I can't comment extensively on their menu, but I can say that I'm a bit addicted to the noodles. The noodles are nicely chewy and the sauce is perfect--not that a perfect sauce really exists, given the number of variations of pad Thai, but this one is excellent. I've also had the spicy fish cakes for an appetizer, and those were delectable as well, as was the chicken satay, generous strips of moist chicken with a savory peanut-coconut dipping sauce. These experiences lead me to believe that all of their food is probably great. If this wasn't enough, this place is inexpensive enough to fit anyone's budget. The veggie pad Thai is $8.
Don't bother with the wine, they only have one red and one white, which means the flavors aren't likely to match your food. The white was definitely of a lesser quality than any $7 bottle from Trader Joe's. Thai iced coffee and tea taste good like they always do, and there's also the usual Thai beer.
18763 Pacific Coast Highway