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looking for good, FLAVORFUL hot food

I am not a masochist. However, I am constantly disappointed in restaurants offering 'hot' food. I've begged in Thai and English for 'Thai level' spice. They smile and nod and I get a plate of tasty, delicious but ultimately pedestrian Thai food. I went to Balti House and asked for 'British Hot, NOT American Hot'; it was like the salsa at Denny's. I just had 'Atomic' wings from Alondras Hot Wings. They make you sign a waiver when you pick them up, releasing them from any liability if they're too hot. I ate half the tray and practically cried: spicy, yeah, okay, but nothing special. The 'special' salsa at El Cholo you have to ask for, it's good, but too watery and, well, it's salsa.
Like I said, I'm not a masochist. But can anybody point me to some good flavor where I don't have to bring my own container of Dave's Dragon Dust? I'm not into organ meats or 'Fear Factor' dishes, and it's got to have good flavor. I can burn my own mouth at home with Dave Insanity Sauce, I want something good.

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  1. Chung King (Sichuan)

    Toe Bang (Korean)

    Kyochon (Korean fried chicken)

    Orochon (Japanese ramen)

    Jitlada (southern Thai)

    1 Reply
    1. i feel for you! honestly. i think being a girl makes it even more challenging - b/c people just don't believe you can eat hot food. i've been to jitlada, begged for hot food (please please pet pet), and was severely disappointed. food tasted great - but spice level was not there. i think the solution to this issue - is for people who can't eat spicy food to not eat it. restaurants want to please and people who can't take spice make such a fuss - that they won't serve it to anyone b/c they think that their customers will be disappointed. for me - it's the opposite. i want spicy, but can't get it.

      the only place i've found that has - inconsistently - very spicy food is akbar indian in the marina. (santa monica and manhattan beach locations do not make the food spicy.) i've also found that ordering to go or for delivery helps get you a spicier dish. i've talked about this with them numerous times and the guy says that he doesn't want to take food back b/c they can make it super spicy. so - the two dishes i get are lamb vindaloo and prawns madras (both on a super level 5 spicy - it's a 1-5 scale). and just really tell them that over and over and you might get it. it's hit or miss, but when they make it spicy - it is amazing. my absolute favorite.

      also - king taco has the most delightful red and green salsas. amazing! i love love love king taco - but i always get two huge "to gos" of the hot sauce - b/c seriously, it is intense and super flavorful and spicy. they also have a wonderful appetizer - chicken mint something - it's chicken slathered with a spicy mint marinade and i think cooked in the tandori. it is really good. and very spicy.

      i have not had spicy thai food in this city for a LONG time. in the past, i had good luck at a place in panorama city called "khun khao" 13550 Roscoe Blvd. i rarely get out there anymore just b/c it's not fitting with my schedule - but this place would make some wonderful spicy food. the tom yum tay lay (sp?) or goong is delicious and just melts in your mouth with flavor and spice. my favorite dishes are the spicy shrimp mint and garlic shrimp. so good!!! like i said - haven't been for a bit - but used to be the best of the best. i randomly try places in thai town, but am usually disappointed b/c i'm expecting too much.

      4 Replies
        1. re: flowerofhighrank

          welcome. and good luck.

          btw - the spicy mint chicken is at akbar (3115 Washington Blvd), not king taco . . . small typo.

          also - chichen itza, where i have never been, is supposed to have amazing and spicy food. and La Serenata de Garibaldi sometimes has some very tasty sauces that are very spicy. their food is very good even if you don't happen to pick something spicy.

        2. re: bu dat

          Could not agree more with your King Taco and Akbar recs. The salsa at Kink Taco is incredible - I only wish they sold larger amounts of it instead of 6 oz.

          I've had good luck getting properly spicy food at the Akbar location in Pasadena too.

          1. re: bu dat

            Agree re: Akbar. But this was at the Santa Monica location that the hot-fest was tried and felled several British lads. No one enjoyed their food past a 4, and if I recall, they served it to us up to a 7. (I was an observer and stayed with the 3 with taste of 4 for masala. Could've done a 4-5 in pepper lamb if really wanted heat.)

            Down near/in Westchester I tried Ayara Thai and got the Jungle Curry (which is basically a spicy beef soup). Their mild-to-medium (what they tell the cooks) was perfectly hot-spicy for me - I asked for the American version of spicy but not extreme and asked the waitress to translate that to her cooks. She confirmed that mild-medium was what she told them. I don't consider myself a spicy food fiend but I've never had a problem with any atomic wings and I do drink Tabasco a little. I could've handled the medium at Ayara Thai, I'm pretty sure. (I would've ordered that - for delivery - if I had a cold.) But I don't really think I could've done more than a medium and enjoyed it. (Medium probably would've been like a 4 at Akbar.) You, however, might want to ask them to make it as hot as anyone has ever liked it. (Jungle curry tends to be hotter than a bunch of other Thai curries because it does not have the gorgeous fat in any coconut milk to chill it out.)

          2. The spicy chicken wings at Prince really are. Very spicy and garlicky!

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            The Prince
            3198 W Seventh St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

            1. Perhaps Babita for the Shrimp Tobpolbampo?

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              Babita
              1823 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

              1. A "5" catfish at Jitlada will blow your socks off!