Classic Tables: Sapp Coffee Shop

Taste the richest broth in Thai Town

Thai Town is packed with enough noodle shops that one could dedicate a lifetime to slurping in the neighborhood.

One classic we keep returning to is the venerable Sapp Coffee Shop, a small, down-at-the-heels spot on Hollywood Boulevard specializing in boat noodles.

The stock in this soup is beef-based and the noodles made of rice flour, but don't expect a dish that resembles pho. Instead, in addition to long-simmered bones, the stock is fortified with blood, taking a turn toward a deeper, murkier brown. The richly textured broth is intensely meaty, the bottom notes of beef carrying a smack of sweetness and acidity too.

What to put in this wunderkind broth? You can roll with the blood theme and order it with tripe, tendon, liver and meatballs ($5); or, if a bowl of blood and guts is too much, a version with tender beef slices can also be had ($5). Both bowls come garnished with curls of fried pork skin, the meaty croutons slowly becoming broth-filled sponges.

The menu doesn't begin and end with boat noodles, though. We're also partial to Sapp's jade noodles, cool green strands served with crab, red-tinged pork, duck and a sizable pinch of chilies.

Sapp Coffee Shop, 5183 Hollywood Blvd., Thai Town; 323-665-1053