Ayara Lūk on Sepulveda Blvd. in Westchester is a must-try Thai pop-up that is the child (literally, "lūk" means child in Thai) of Ayara Thai right across the way that is undergoing renovations. While the parents are away, the kids can play, literally.

As soon as I walked into the beautiful Ayara Lūk location with exposed wood and huge windows that open up the dining space with natural light, I noticed the stacks of card and board games on the counters.

coffee, beer
Anna Roccucci

Amongst ornate, subtle decor, Ayara Lūk gives you the opportunity to entertain kids, or even yourself, and have a blast while playing Apples to Apples, Operation and even Cards Against Humanity while you wait for your insanely good Thai food to arrive at your table. 

beer, wine, coffee
Anna Roccucci

The modern atmosphere is so inviting, not to mention the wonderful and attentive wait staff. Everyone welcomes you with warm smiles, and the smells that surround the dining room from the open kitchen make it hard to decide on what you're going to order.

#SpoonTip: Go big or go home - order it all and take some to-go if you can't finish all the yummy Thai in one sitting. 

There is also a subtle yet large screen that adorns one of the walls that plays Discovery Channel nature reels that modernize the restaurant even more and provides contemporary atmosphere. They are for sure keeping up with the times and our appetites.

Spring Rolls

rice, pork, meat, vegetable, spring rolls
Anna Roccucci

After ordering an extremely refreshing Japanese beer, the Spring Rolls sounded too good to pass up. With grilled shrimp as the choice of protein, these spring rolls are so delicious and fresh with lettuce, carrots and other raw cut veggies beautifully presented. The sauce they are served with absolutely makes it - spicy, garlicky and everything you need to compliment a perfectly rolled and healthy appetizer.

Blood Noodle Soup (In Steps)

chili, meat, parsley, vegetable, soup
Anna Roccucci

Wait, what??? I know what you're thinking, who would ever think to order a soup with pieces of congealed blood, but take my advice. Order. The. Soup. It is amazing. The flavor is similar to "Spaghetti Bolognese", Chef Vanda joked that she tells this to her friends encouraging them to try the traditional Thai dish.

There are large pieces of pork spare ribs along with congealed blood that is the texture of tofu, and the flavor development in the soup is rich, spicy and fresh.

To eat it properly in traditional Thai fashion, our server brought out a plate with all the ingredients and explained exactly how to eat it making us feel so welcomed and very cultured. 

1. Vermicelli Noodles

soup, spaghetti, ramen, noodle, pasta
Anna Roccucci

2. Blood Soup Broth

sauce, pork, beef, lamb
Anna Roccucci

3. Cabbage and Pickles

Anna Roccucci

Lobster Pad Thai

chili, pasta, pork, chicken, rice, pad thai
Anna Roccucci

This highly recommended pad thai is everything you could ever want. It's spicy, sweet and filled with a ton of delicious lobster and crab meet. The noodles, vegetables and seafood satisfy any craving for Thai food that you will ever have, and it's extremely fresh. 

Short Rib Green Curry

parsley, curry, beef, carrot, meat, vegetable, soup
Anna Roccucci

I never considered myself a curry fan until I came to this must-try Thai pop-up and had this truly incredible dish. The short ribs alone are enough to make it spectacular, but with a medium heat rating and a sweet coconut base to balance it, this curry changed my mind. The flavors marry perfectly on your palette, and the meat is so tender and packed with all of the flavor from the curry. Poured over white rice, I could eat this every day. 

Mango Sticky Rice

peach, ice, cream, ice cream, mango
Anna Roccucci

A perfect way to end a traditinal Thai meal is with a traditional dessert of course, and this mango sticky rice truly delivered. The creamy sweetness of the sauce poured over the perfectly blended sticky rice pairs beautifully with the sliced, ripe mango.

It is decadent and indulgent without feeling too heavy. Ayara Lūk shares on their social media that sticky rice is a trade that must be learned, and it is not as easy as it may seem, but they sure have it down. 

By the end of the meal, Ayara Lūk was filled with families and customers waiting for delicious food and taking a crack at Apples to Apples, and now I know why. This pop-up truly captures childhood and innocence in beautiful, innovative Thai cuisine. This must-try Thai pop-up is tailored for our generation, so catch it while it is still around. I assure it's a meal (or many) that you don't want to miss.