I'm not trying to be provacative, but I just got back from So. California and had the opportunity to eat at Ruen Pair, a very well-regarded Thai place in Thai Town. Great prices, almost everything under $5 with the same portions that you'd be likely to get here. Also ate at a random place east of Santa Monica off Lincoln.
People seem to complain about our Thai food here in the PNW, both Portland and Seattle, usually complaining that it's too sweet. Not only do they complain, but they often say it's not just different or mediocre but bad. Luckily I was with a big group both times and got to try lots of dishes and after that, I'm just not convinced of the problem, nor of a huge divide.
Sure, places like Typhoon and Arawan here in Portland are generally sweeter. Places like Typhoon and Ring of Fire in Eugene do a lot of fusion, too, adding apples or salmon to dishes.
But places like Khun Pic's, Bangkok Kitchen, E-San, Thai Little Home, etc, don't seem significantly different. I really would like to eat some Thai food with those who do see a huge difference and have them explain it some time.