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Best Khao Soi in SoCal?

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. re: TonyC

      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

        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

          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

            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

              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

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

        2. 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

            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

              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

                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

                  "BBQ", even.

                  "over the last".

                  Ugh FTLOG, release the edit feature.

            2. 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. 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.