Regarding this claim, sez Eric M., (just in from Chicago, and bristling, as did yours truly at one time, with a certain Eastern something-or-other):
"That's b.s. Yes, LA is the "epicenter" of ThaiAm life, but it is NOT the only place in the U.S. where "truly authentic faire [sic]" can be found. Chicago, for one, has *several* exceptional Thai restaurants, and they all serve fully authentic Thai cuisine. How do I know that? I live in Chicago, I speak/read Thai, I've translated every one of these restaurants' Thai language menus and I am very well-connected in Chicago's Thai restaurant community. And, as authentic Thai food goes, Chicago is hardly alone. New York now has several good Thai restaurants. And, you'll find great Thai food in Portland, OR. And, in San Francisco. And, in Plano, TX, and..."
So let me ask, both LA-area and hounds from other locales: it's my impression that nowhere else in the U.S., at least for the moment, are there quite as many Thai places, running so large a gamut of price range, ambiance, authenticity, and geographic specificity. (See, e.g., Eric's own review of Jitlada, apparently one of the view genuinely "Southern Thai" places in the U.S.). I note, for instance, not only Sherman Way, but the block of Hollywood which includes Rodded, which by my recollection, features either four, or five, Thai restaurants, three of them on the same (north) side of the street.
Also, while I've had, from time to time in 30+ years in LA, bad food in a Thai restaurant, the occasions have been comparatively few, and I've eaten in a GANG of 'em.
So, my impression is that while you can FIND good Thai food elsewhere, you sure don't have to look quite as hard in L.A. (Plano, Texas?)
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