Is there any place in the LA area that approaches the level of David Thompson's Nahm in London or his former Darley Street Thai in Sydney? His restaurants are quite upscale and creative yet not an attempt at fusion or Americanization (or Englishification or Australization). Thanks.
I've often wondered why there is nothing like this in L.A., I've heard about the place in London. Except in the case of a few Hollywood spots like Mr. Chow, Angelenos often have an aversion to paying for luxuriously presented Asian food.
The more upscale Thai places around Beverly Hills have generally mediocre food. The closest you can probably come to a nice atmosphere and good food is Saladang in Pasadena.
But in L.A., the really good and authentic Thai food is found in either total dives or sort-of nice places in North Hollywood or Hollywood's Thai Town.
I didn't mean to imply there was a difference between Englishification and Australization. I said that only because I started to say that David Thompson avoids Americanization, but since his restaurants are in the UK and Australia rather than the US then it wouldn't be Americanization that he's avoiding. I should have just said "Anglification" or "catering to local tastes" and left it at that.
I do think it's an interesting question how cuisines evolve in different areas -- such as how Americanized Thai differs from Australian Thai, or how Italian food in the US differs from Italian food in Japan, and so on. But that's a whole long topic for another board.
Didn't Jet Thila (the Thai chef who often contributes to KCRW's Good Food radio show) recently open a high end Thai restaurant somewhere on the Westside? I want to say that it was named after a flower (perhaps Orchid?) or had a similar sort of name (i.e., easy to pronounce but nonetheless evocative of the East). I'm sorry I can't be more helpful.
No, Jet Tila did review The Orchid in Santa Monica recently, but he doesn't own any part of it. There have been a few good reports on the board, but I don't think it's in the same league as Nahm in London, which was awarded a Michelin star.
The menu does look interesting, though.
I would say that the closest places to high end thai food around LA are Saladang and Saladang Song in Pasadena, and Rambutan Thai in Silverlake.
363 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105
383 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105