HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Northern Thai restaurants & Markets?

I'm sure there are some in Thai Town - but which is the best? Any outside Thai Town? Dare I hope for one in the South Bay?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Sri Siam in North Hollywood has many northern dishes. So does Bua Siam.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      Sri Siam is delicious, but I think it's mostly northeastern Thai (grilled meat, lime drenched salads, etc.), which is different from Northern Thai.

    2. Top Thai in Northridge (or Reseda- I forget) on Reseda Blvd has lots of authentic northern Thai fare. Khao Soy, Sai Uow, etc.

      1. I could be way off base here, but isn't there a huge run of Cambodian restaurants along Anaheim in Long Beach that also have a northern thai slant?

        1. My Thai geography (among many things) is pretty questionable, but isn't Northern Thai food also known as Issan Thai? If that is the case, Renu Nakorn in Norwalk is great. It gets rave reviews all across this board. It's closed for renovations at the moment, but it is supposed to re-open very soon.

          3 Replies
          1. re: glutton

            Issan Thai is Northeastern Thai. It is different from Northern Thai. They speak different dialects and eat different foods. All the salad stuff that is so popular nowadays, like som tum, etc., as well as the grilled meats (Thai grilled chicken) are Issan, or Northeastern Thai.

            Nothern Thai is different. They have curries, etc. Khao Soy is a signature dish (noodles in a curry sauce), as is sai uow (a distinct Northern Thai sausage).

            Northern Thai is not easy to find in Los Angeles. It's not even on every corner in Bangkok (unlike Issan food, which these days is everywhere in Bangkok). Issan food is also much easier to find in Los Angeles (sri siam, renu nakorn, etc.).

            1. re: jackt

              If "Issan" is Northeastern That, then what do the Thais call Northern Thai? What major cities are associated with each cuisine?

              1. re: Andrew Gore

                chiang mai and chaing rai are associated w/ northern thai.

                the northeastern thai dialect and cuisine as far as i understand are fairly closely related to laos, since issan province borders laos. it's hot and arid there, but the food's darn good!

          2. Spicy BBQ in the minimall on the NW corner of Santa Monica and Normandie in East Hollywood has the spicier northern Thai cuisine...very "pet" as they say in Thai.

            1. Thanks for the northern/northeastern Thai primer. In Orange County, Bangkok Taste in Santa Ana makes a delicious Khao Soy (but it's the first one I've had, so I'm lacking reference points on that specific dish).


              1. i will often rock the som tam (papaya salad) and bbq pork at hollywood thai sometime after 2am on a friday or saturday night.

                i've never seen a restaurant in la that specialized in esarn/issan food although i freaking love it. most restaurants have a bit of everything. if i could find a freshly bbq'ed catfish larb that would be awesome. esarn food is also

                9 Replies
                1. re: modernist

                  I don't know about "...freshly bbq'ed catfish larb..." but I have really enjoyed the catfish larb at Sri Siam many times when ordered very spicy. One time I had to order it mild for my guests and it was abysmal!


                  1. re: sel

                    sri siam is really good. but i think it's a little bit expensive though (well, for an eatery!).

                    1. re: jackt

                      That's funny because I think Sri Siam is pretty much a bargain. I guess comparison points are in order. Sri Siam is absurdly expensive compared to an a place with equivalent atmosphere in BKK, but it is a downright bargain when compared to the vastly inferior Chan Dara near my house.

                      1. re: igj

                        o no not comparing to chan dara etc. that's a different type of restaurant. but compared to other places w a similar atmosphere, we usually notice that everything's an extra dollar or two. we'd eat there a lot more if it wasn't. it all adds up if you're eating out frequently with 5-8 people.

                        1. re: jackt

                          Maybe scale does play into it. I am usually at Sri Siam as a couple - so we usually have 3 dishes. We rarely top $22...that seems a bargain. But I could see if you added six more people and ended up with a wide variety of dishes that the price might jump quite high.

                          jackt: Where do you end up eating at in that area?

                          1. re: igj

                            yeah it's just a matter of principle with the prices is all. if all the competition is charging $6-7 and they are charging more like $8-9 then we just eat there less even though the extra few dollars in the end doesn't make a huge difference!

                            most of the time we eat at sunshine on sherman way. sometimes we'll hit krua thai or sanamluang (esp if we are also grocery shopping then we'll go to sanamluang so we can hit the market next door).

                            1. re: jackt

                              Thanks. Will try Sunshine.

                              I eat Krua Thai pretty regularly, but I go there when I am in a noodle mood, not so much for 'general' Thai (gup kao dishes or curries, etc.). Although I may have never eaten at the Sanamluang in NoHo, I treat the one in Hollywood about the same as Krua Thai - noodle dishes mainly.

                              I do love that Bang Luck market - only wish they had fresh khanom guay chai. Even the Bhan Khanom Thai in Noho rarely carries them. I guess I just need to stick to Thai Town for my guay chai fix :)

                              1. re: igj

                                the sanamluang next door to bangluck serves guay chai.

                                for guay chai, we usually go to kamala in chinatown (on ord just north of hill... it's inside a small shopping center). and there's also a lady that makes it to order in her kitchen, but she'll only do dozens at a time so we only do that if there's a special occasion or something.

                                1. re: jackt

                                  Thanks for the tip. I always forget that guay chai are actually Chinese - or at least all my Thai friends called them Chinese.

                                  A bunch of the Thai places in LA also serve guay chai; usually not bad and often a not bad indicator of how 'street food'-like the cuisine will be. I was referring to guay chai to take home; I love the ones I get at Bhan Khanom Thai and the ones from Silom Market are good, but not quite as good.

                                  OK - while still about Thai food, I think I have caused this to wander far enough off-topic so that any follow ups from me will be in a new thread :)