I live in North Hollywood and have been to the Thai places in my area and thai town as well. I have not been to thailand, but I worked in an excellent thai restaurant when younger and know it fairly well.
So I am a bit surprised that LOS is said to be *better* than the LA places - even by Jonathan Gold. I mean LOS was great. We had the Yum Woo Sen (clear noodle salad with pork and seafood). The noodles were a great texture, and good amount of seafood and flavor - could use a bit more lime and Nam Pla (fish sauce) but that's my personal taste. We asked for it 10 stars and there was not a speck of red, but then the heat was intense from a generous amount of green fresh chilies. We had fish cakes, which were good, but its not a dish that can really soar. The salmon panang was sophisticated by flavorful and great (from previous comments on the board, thanks!). I was going ot get the bass fillet with chili sauce but opted for the whole catfish fried and smothered in a sweet spicey sauce. It was excellent - well cooked so crispy and not muddy at all. The last item was Pad See Ewe - spicy wide noodles. They were OK, but the others I was with loved it - one who had spent time in thailand said it was as good as anything she had there.
So... despite this, I think the LA places taste better - and of course are dirt cheap. Anyone else make the comparison?