Restaurants & Bars

Los Angeles Area Thai

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


More from Restaurants & Bars

Restaurants & Bars Los Angeles Area Thai

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

narcissisticnonsense | | Jan 6, 2014 10:27 AM

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 )