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Where to find these and other (obscure/Northern/Isaan) Thai dishes in LA?

Other than Jitlada and Renu Nakorn?

1) Mieng kham: This dish is very simple, but it’s awesome. Mieng means “leaf-wrapped food” and kham means “in a bite,” and that’s exactly what it is: a salad of shallots, chili, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and roasted nuts wrapped in an edible leaf – often betel leaves but sometimes lettuce – and eaten together in a single, explosively flavorful bite. Three reasons that this needs to be popularized: a) it’s a ubiquitous street snack that can be found anywhere in Bangkok (so all Thai chefs should know it), b) it’s largely pre-made (with the ingredients often not even pre-assembled!), making it ideal for any chef, and c) it’s absolutely delicious.

2) Nam phrik num and nam phrik ong: Northern Thai cuisine features an array of dips, but these two are the most essential. Num is green chili, ong is red chili (green chili dip/red chili dip), but the latter is also tomato based and reminds me enough of bologna sauce that I feel more comfortable with the former. They’re meant to be eaten with fresh vegetables, pork cracklings, and, like most Northern Thai food, sticky rice. (Sticky rice is preferable to noodles in Northern Thailand.)
3) Khao soi: At its most basic, this is a curry egg noodle soup, but it’s more than that. Honestly, it’s worth its own article. What’s really fascinating about khao soi is that it won’t assault you with exotic flavors – making it actually seem out of place among other Northern Thai dishes, which includes the likes of ant-egg curry and cow udder soup – and that it would be universally adored in any Western country. The city of Chiang Mai in particular loves khao soi and seems to be the dish’s capital, but it probably originated in Myanmar/Burma (via Shan State’s ohn-no hkhauk hswe, basically pronounced “oh no khao soi").

4) Kaeng lueang (or kaeng som): This is a deeply flavorful – and deeply spicy – yellow curry (kaeng lueang just means “yellow curry” while kaeng som means “sour curry”), most often spiced with turmeric, chili, curry paste, and a light dose of coconut milk, with the last being important because coconut milk is the only thing preventing the chili from burning a layer off your tongue. It’s most often served with fish – at Jitlada, order it with catfish.

5) Kanom jeen (or khanom chin, etc.): This is an immensely popular street food that combines rice vermicelli noodles (like those seen in Vietnamese bun) and fresh vegetables with what’s usually a red curry, but the broth can vary from red curry to green curry to the pork blood broth used in boat noodles. The curry usually lacks coconut milk, though, so the flavor is closer to tom yum soup than to milk-heavy red curries normally eaten in the U.S. (Fyi, there’s also a slightly different Burmese version called mounti that’s worth trying.)

(Text from article http://www.tentacleseverywhere.com/fo... )

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    1. re: chrishei

      I've heard about Night+Market but it seems expensive (but so is Jitlada I guess)

      1. re: narcissisticnonsense

        Night & Market is not terribly expensive. Its really good though.

        1. re: narcissisticnonsense

          I had their Khao Soi special the other night for 12 dollars I believe. Highly recommended from me--although do pass on their papaya salad.

          1. re: set0312

            "Khao Soi special the other night for 12".

            this is effin insane. and people bitch about Jitlada prices.

            1. re: TonyC

              To their credit, it was a short rib and beef tendon khao soi if I remember correctly, so that may have something to do with the price hike.

              But I have no problem with Night Market's prices. In my opinion one of the best places in the city to eat for under thirty a head.

              At the same time, I'm not gonna go there every time I want Thai because it can be expensive.

      2. The names of these dishes is too hard for me to remember. However, there's a relatively new place called:

        Isaan Station Thai Street Food
        125 N Western Ave
        Los Angeles, CA 90004

        I don't know if it has the dishes you're looking for but at least the name of the restaurant seems right.

        1 Reply
        1. re: yizhang

          I've been here once and certainly enjoyed it.

          For what it's worth, I had dinner at the Thai consulate's house and his wife recommended Isaan Station as her favorite spot in the city.

        2. Try In-Chan Thai in Van Nuys or call them for special order! Very good food, but ambiance not so much.

          1. Top Thai http://topthaireseda.com/ on Reseda Blvd. in Reseda

            NORTHERN THAI

            1. Sai-Oua (Northern Thai Sausage)………………………………………………………………. 9.95

            Ground pork with lemon grass and curry spices.

            2. Larb Thod………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9.95

            Deep-fried patties of marinated ground pork, roasted rice, chili, fresh limejuice.

            3. Khow-Soy (Chicken, Beef or Pork) (For shrimp $12.95)……………………………… 10.95

            Egg noodles served with creamy northern Thai curry sauce.

            4. Nam-Prik Oong ……………………………………………………………………………………….10.95

            Spicy mashed chili paste with ground pork, tomatoes, served with fresh vegetables.

            5. Kang Hoh (Chicken, pork or beef) (For shrimp $ 12.95)……………………………… 10.95

            Sautéed with glass noodles, mixed vegetables and curry spices.

            6. Kang Hung-Lay……………………………………………………………………………………… 10.99

            Tender pork sparerib pieces in special Northern Thai curry sauce with ginger and roasted peanuts.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Servorg

              Top Thai does indeed have the best khao soi. Well played.

            2. In east Hollywood, Spicy BBQ, despite it's generic name, has excellent Northern specialties, including a wonderful nam phrik num (beloved by Jonathan Gold, no less, as well as Jet Tila, Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine - http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/20...). They also feature a much lauded Khao Soi, and upon request, may even have the other dishes you seek:
              Spicy BBQ
              5101 Santa Monica Blvd
              Los Angeles, 90029

              3 Replies
              1. re: cinefoodie

                I love this place, and especially their khao soi. Nong and her family are also super-awesome people, so friendly.

                1. re: cinefoodie

                  I'll follow up the Spicy BBQ post to say that while the lady who runs it is very sweet, they use nondairy creamer in their khao soy, and the nam prik is oddly expensive -- around $9 iirc.

                  I like the khao soy at Sri Siam in NoHo. It has a more fermented/pickley flavor than I've had elsewhere.

                  1. re: Bjartmarr

                    Maybe that's the secret ingredient that makes it taste so good?

                2. Pailin has at least Nam Prik Noom and Khao Soi, but according to our very own TonyC will cook most Issan dishes if you ask

                  Here's a link to an article:


                  5621 Hollywood Blvd

                  1. Sri Siam in North Hollywood has a lot of Northern Thai items. The nam prik num is incredible. I've also had the khao soi and nam prik ong, which are good, but not really to my taste. The salad you describe sounds similar to their crispy rice salad, but that has sour pork (or for a kosher version, they do it with chicken). I suspect you could get the others; they have a lengthy menu on the wall that is completely in Thai and not translated. Nam prik num, for instance, is only listed on that menu, not the regular one.


                    1. You need to go to Pailin quickly. Their Khao Soi is the best in the city (way way way better than Spicy BBQ's) and IIRC they have both kinds of nam prikh. Oh I almost forgot, they have khanom jean too and it's really good, though similar enough to khao soi that I would get one or the other at a time but that's just me.

                      Sorry butterfight just saw you rec'd this already. make that a +1 from me then

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Eater15

                        Gonna have to try this one; sounds good!

                      2. (looks like I've been typing this since at least '08: http://www.chow.com/food-news/4838/is...


                        Cancoon Thai for Issan; kaeng (par), kaeng (som cha om), kaeng (nor mai), kaeng (ruang pra bang), kaeng (om pla). Typos mine. Just Cancoon Thai, period. Bellflower now has 3 solid Thai places, but Cancoon Thai literally blows anything out of the water in LA, and the prices are sensible, unlike Spicy Thai which continues to beat inflation rates.

                        Pailin for Northern (and some Issan), khanom jeen, khao soi, nam priks.

                        Darabar for north of Bangkok & kaeng som pla pae sa. And for Johnnie with Chang water.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: TonyC

                          I've never had khao sou before. Where should I go for my first bowl?

                          (Don't judge me)

                          1. re: ns1

                            you've been missing out... it's a northern thing, so pailin (if you're TonyC). it's decent at renu nakorn

                            1. re: ns1

                              * judge judge judge * haha!

                              anywhere but here, I suppose: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9303...

                              I don't do NoHo, but in 'Ho, Pailin (mentioned several times here already) and Darabar:

                              The previous khao soi thread of any substance is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/903613

                              1. re: TonyC

                                you'll drive to bellflower but not to north hollywood?

                                tsk tsk tsk. you valleyist. you anti-valleyite.

                                1. re: TonyC

                                  So I did end up @ Pailin today for the khoa soi. Pardon the obvious, with the supplied plate of accouterments am I just supposed to dump the whole thing into the bowl? Because that's what I did. Good thing I love onions.

                                  Anyway, I could tell the bowl was of high quality. The flavors were deep, spice level was right, chicken tender, etc. That said, at the end of the day I didn't love the dish. It felt like eating a bowl of thai ramen - and I mean that because the broth was heavy as shit and surprisingly fatty - at least I assume it's fatty because it looked like a layer of oil/grease on top in the same way kotteri broth looks. Don't get me wrong, I still killed the bowl.

                                  So at the end of the day, khoa soi probably won't be on my regular rotation, although Pailin will be. 3 thai ladies in the back cooking, legit.

                                  $9.21 after tax before tip for khoa soi + thai tea.

                                    1. re: ns1

                                      hey, i like pailin. truly, 2014 is shaping up to be ragnarok, gotterdamerung and all that good stuff.

                                      i haven't been there in too long. must go back.

                                2. re: TonyC

                                  What do you get at Darabar? I've been twice and been amused by the smooth jazz soundtrack, but underwhelmed with everything I ordered.

                                  1. re: Butter Fight

                                    Darabar? Aforementioned kaeng som pla pae sa (or cha-om omelette), khao soi (off the meu, I believe). Simply steamed fish/grilled squid (with the addictive jiaw dip), khanom jeen, hor mok, hoy tawt, khao pad pla kem, etc.

                                    sometimes, I see what the ladies are eating early in their shift, and point. sometimes, I pull up its fb and point: https://www.facebook.com/darabar.la