So after reading that list in Saveur, I tried the papaya salad at the little stand outside of LAX-C (aka Thai Costco, just outside of Chinatown near the metro station). The lady there lets you customize everything--number of chiles, amount of fish sauce, what have you--and even asks you to taste the sauce near the end to make sure the balance is to your liking. So good, especially after eating Trader Joe's Frozen Papaya Salad earlier this week, which is vegan (NO FISH SAUCE WTF?!?) and has some kind of weird chemical aftertaste.
I also had an empanada-ish thing that turned out to be filled with chicken and sweet bean paste--it confused my tastebuds for a second, but I think I liked it. And they also have satay and sausages and some kind grilled coconut cake that looked like Thai imagawayaki.
Finally, there's a steam table inside with curry lunch specials and some interesting-looking pre-packaged stuff. I'm thinking of going back to try that for lunch in the near future...has anyone reading this eaten there before? What's good?