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Best Khao Soi in SoCal?

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Fig Newton May 29, 2013 11:08 AM

Where would you go for really great Khao Soi? I am craving it like crazy. For me, a good KS has a good amount of heat, and not too much sugary sweet. Thanks.

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  1. TonyC RE: Fig Newton May 29, 2013 11:25 AM

    Search ( http://www.chow.com/search?query=khao... ) yields:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/861564

    I'm partial to Pailin or Darabar.

    7 Replies
    1. re: TonyC
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      Fig Newton RE: TonyC May 29, 2013 11:43 AM

      I don't mean to pick on you too specifically, TonyC, but more to bring up something that I see here a ton. I've been around the CH boards for 13 years, and trust me that when I ask about something I've searched for it. I don't particularly think that one mention of Khao Soi in a thread of dozens of posts about Thai noodles warrants a reminder to use the search thread. Also, I don't feel like I should have to say on a post, "I've searched for this and found this XX thread, blah blah blah." It's my personal opinion that re-hashing topics every once in a while is an ok thing. Especially when it's something totally random and specific like khao soi. (vs, say, "where to eat near Disneyland.")

      Thanks for the Pailin / Darabar recommedations -- I'll check them out.

      1. re: Fig Newton
        Servorg RE: Fig Newton May 29, 2013 12:14 PM

        Have you tried it at Spicy BBQ before? I think it's a good version, but when it comes to taste parameters like "not too sweet" that's a tough call to parse from one hounds palate/sense to another hound.

        Spicy BBQ Restaurant
        5101 Santa Monica Blvd
        Los Angeles, CA 90029
        (323) 663-4211

        1. re: Servorg
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          odub RE: Servorg May 29, 2013 09:45 PM

          I've tried khao soi at 4 different places:
          Spicy BBQ
          Pailin
          Top Thai (in the Valley, run by the Spicy BBQ family)
          Renu Nakorn

          I can't recommend the last but I found the quality of khao soi to be fairly similar b/t the first three. I don't know if one really stands out, heads above, the other two. I do like Spicy BBQ but I've found them to be inconsistent with the dish. Sometimes it's on, other times, not so much.

          1. re: odub
            SilverlakeGirl RE: odub May 29, 2013 09:51 PM

            I have noticed that Wat Dong Moon Lek has added the dish to their menu as well.

            I have not tried it yet.

            1. re: odub
              Servorg RE: odub May 30, 2013 04:42 AM

              I haven't had it there more than twice, so I haven't had the breadth of experience to notice the inconsistency you have. I just thought it was a very tasty soup. Thanks for posting your thoughts.

          2. re: Fig Newton
            PeterCC RE: Fig Newton May 29, 2013 12:39 PM

            I think we should start a new acronym: IASFI: I already searched for it...

            1. re: PeterCC
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              Fig Newton RE: PeterCC May 29, 2013 12:47 PM

              THAT would be cool.

        2. b
          BrewNChow RE: Fig Newton May 29, 2013 10:22 PM

          I think Pailin's is much better than Spicy BBQ's. Spicy BBQ is much much sweeter and and that's kind of the dominant aspect of the dish. If it weren't for the red onions it would actually be too cloying to eat. Paillin's is better IMO but I would go for the khanom jin (similar dish) over it.

          4 Replies
          1. re: BrewNChow
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            revets2 RE: BrewNChow May 31, 2013 02:53 PM

            I heard Spicy BBQ uses non-dairy creamer instead of coconut milk. Not trying to spread rumors as I love the place, but does anyone know if this is true?

            Wonder if that's why it's sweeter too.

            1. re: revets2
              TonyC RE: revets2 May 31, 2013 03:56 PM

              This isn't a rumour. it's been observed by several people, and is, afaic, a fact. Couple this with the inane pricing for nampriks, as well as their removal of so-called "difficult" dishes, has turned "Spicy BQQ" verboten. Yet the board, and LA food "personalities", keep propping this sad excuse of an Issan place up.

              The subject has been beaten several times over in the last... 5 years.

              1. re: TonyC
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                BrewNChow RE: TonyC May 31, 2013 06:57 PM

                I agree. It's not like Spicy BBQ is BAD, because it isn't. But it's either not as great as it used to be or several much better places have popped up or both.

                Also, you can taste the creamer in the khao soi. You don't even need to see it to confirm it.

                1. re: TonyC
                  TonyC RE: TonyC May 31, 2013 08:56 PM

                  "BBQ", even.

                  "over the last".

                  Ugh FTLOG, release the edit feature.

            2. b
              Bjartmarr RE: Fig Newton May 31, 2013 04:50 PM

              I can't speak for "best" due to lack of experience, but I like the khao soi at Sri Siam at Coldwater and Victory. I recall it being on the funky side.

              I also enjoy the Burmese khao soi at Jasmine Market (weekends only) on Sepulveda near Washington, although that's a very different dish than the Thai version you're probably craving.

              1. f
                Fig Newton RE: Fig Newton Jun 6, 2013 10:49 AM

                Thanks for the recommendations, all. I ended up at Pailin and am so happy I did. I had tried to go there several times before, but always manage to be in the area on Sundays when they are closed.

                The Khao Soi was terrific, and the duck salad was outrageously good. Loved the family atmosphere, as I was one of the only customers on a Saturday afternoon and two of the 4-tops were taken by lots of rotating friends/family.

                Can't wait to go back.

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