7 out of 10

Review: Talesai (Thai), West Hollywood

It’s never not nice to hear a music professional talk about music like their heart is being squeezed by the rapid fire of their right brain lobe, still passionate and thoroughly overcome by an artist.

He said J. Mascis is still among one of the very best he’s worked for, said the Dinosaur Jr. frontman is generous, even if he doesn’t talk much.

On tour, the long-haired frontmansets up and tears down every night, metaphorically and physically, for a prism of fans that fell in love with him in the ‘90s days of Dino Jr., the aughts, in the solo days, the off-project months when a 7" floated past their crate-digging exploits, or scratched an itch when a song came on a non-comm station. Some of those fans were on his touring team. He was surrounded by lovers.

He made it sound metaphysical, choking on a word or two as he shook his own head of long hair. Mascis — a masterful guitar player — was an exception, not the rule, he explained. “It takes a lot to impress me at this point. He’s so impressive.”

On his favorite outing, Mascis was opening for Le Tigre. He said girls would pile to the front of general admission to stare upon and admire Kathleen Hanna. In exactly the same fashion, young men would herd and lap up J. Mascis with their eyes.

He and his girlfriend explained that the food here — if the Silverlake location was any yardstick— would be spicy, almost too spicy to enjoy. They were right. The larb tofu was small but mighty, the chicken fried rice was a refuge if any between slow-attack papaya salad and the overpowering Tom Kaa. The sticky rice was sublime. They were accommodating for our larger group on short notice.

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