I ate at Cafe Talesai recently (a Thai restaurant), and I must say I was damned impressed, particularly by the beef dish with kaffir lime leaf and green beans (they don't mention it on the menu, but they will prepare it with filet mignon for a small premium -- well worth it). The yellow curry was also great. The pad thai was authentic.
Now, this place is fairly yuppie Beverly Hills establishment, but the food is as good as anything I had in the finer hotels in Bangkok (notwitshanding the mediocre, overly-oil corn fritter; and I have to admit the food is quite heavy, not for every day consumption -- but quite delicious).
Here's my thought: Cafe Talesai is essentially the only Thai restaurant I've been to in LA where it is clear that they grind their own spices and prepare their own curry pastes. The cheaper places in Thai town just don't have that freshly pestled taste to me. Does anyone know of any Thai restaurants where they actually make things from scratch, like Cafe Talesai?