When it comes to flavor profiles, Thai food is as distinct and polarizing as they come. Spicy, sour, sweet and savory are all in play, and can (and will) be used simultaneously in a single dish. With a vast culinary tradition that varies significantly by region, the country of Thailand produces some of the most fascinating and craving-inducing food on the planet, and Los Angeles's huge Thai community (and fans of Thai food in general) have been able to sustain one of the largest thriving Thai food scenes in the country.
This spot may have slipped downhill a bit since its heyday as a hangout for the Thai Airways flight crews that came through Sea-Tac Airport in the '90s, but it was atop a high hill; that is to say, the quality remains good, all things considered. Branches in Capitol Hill and Redmond save aficionados the travel to Tukwila for gai hor bai toey (pandan-wrapped chicken) or noteworthy seafood dishes like hor mok (salmon and red curry steamed in a banana leaf). yum yum stoke newington
Nahm was the first Thai eatery ever awarded a Michelin Star, a prestigious honor which it held for nearly a decade before losing last year. I’m not sure why, since I ate at Nahm again two months ago and it was as good and well run as ever, but Michelin can be quite fickle. Not that it matters - you should not go to Nahm for this increasingly unimportant distinction, but rather because it is both excellent and truly unique.
This unassuming, cozy restaurant in Mount Baker is a mainstay for low-priced (and cash-only) Thai food. The pad thai has dried shrimp (as it should) and the green papaya salad has real heat (as it should). That salad is a perfect accompaniment to BBQ chicken and a side of sticky rice that comes in a cute bamboo basket. Bonus: Lao dishes on the menu. The Great Gildersleeve: Community Chest Football / Bullard for Mayor / Weight Problems
Thai cuisine contains a spectrum of flavors and textures so vast that no two dishes are ever the same. Even tried-and-true dishes -- like everyone’s favorite, pad thai -- is open to interpretation and varies in preparation across the different provinces in Thailand. Thailand’s four regions -- Northern, Central, Southern, and Isaan or Northeastern -- each possess unique cultures, dialects, and treasured cuisines. The specialities within each region rely on the varying resources found within their respective environments: seafood and fresh coconuts in the South, mountain veggies and herbs in the North, intense chilis and sticky rice in the Northeast, and a hodgepodge of all those ingredients at the center. Tuk Tuk Thai Restaurant
People flock to Pok Pok for the legendary chicken wings: they’re deep fried, smothered in sticky fish sauce, and make up more than 30 percent of the restaurant’s sales. But they stay for the coriander-rubbed grilled boar collar—and the whiskey. James Beard Award–winning chef Andy Ricker may be a 6-foot-2 white dude from Oregon, but his ever-expanding empire (seven restaurants in Portland and New York at last count) and fluency in Thai suggest his food holds its own with the Siamese. The original Pok Pok started as a bare-bones shack with a single-digit menu. Today, the expanded restaurant emphasizes northern and northeastern Thai street food, complete with an arsenal of Chiang Mai sausage, fiery buffalo larb, spicy green papaya salad, and coconut curry grilled corn. Screamin Eagle Slip-Ons 64985-07A
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I have something to confess: I’m not a fan of ripe mangoes, and therefore usually avoid the quintessential Thai dessert, mangoes with sweet sticky rice, but I love ruam mit. Ruam means “gathering” and mit roughly translates to “friends,” and it is a dish that is good to share. Ruam mit is essentially a delicious dessert gazpacho. It’s comprised of a sweet coconut milk broth that that has sliced jackfruit, toddy palm seeds, pandan and coconut jelly, and crunchy water chestnuts coated in tapioca flour all served over ice. It’s the perfect way to cap off a spicy meal.
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If you’re passing through Midtown and you’re craving some larb, swerve to the east fifties and every other storefront will be a Thai restaurant. It can get a little overwhelming, but Wondee Siam is always a good choice. It’s nothing fancy, but if you want good penang curry or some pineapple fried rice that you’ll want to mash up and make a night retainer out of, hit up Wondee. The whole fried snapper should be ordered as well (because it’s $22 and it’ll get you through the winter). Thai Fishcakes competition - Gordon Ramsay
This spice-forward curry from Southern Thailand is one of the country's most famous dishes, and a great break from the green curry routine. "It's a Southern-style curry," explains Alex McCoy of D.C.'s Alfie's restaurant." Its influenced by Arabic cooking in that the spices—green and black cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, and nutmeg—are deeply toasted in the pan before being cooked down with garlic and shallots. "It has a wonderful roasted flavor," he says, adding that it has raisiny-tart notes thanks to tamarind, palm sugar, and fish sauce. A flourish of chopped peanuts adds crunch. Still on the fence? Take it from McCoy: "If you like beef stew, you'd love Massaman curry." Lemongrass Chicken Recipe Video by YumYum
What do they taste like? Shirataki noodles are actually taste-less and will take on the flavors of the dish. Texture-wise is where they vary, as they are more rubbery than your traditional noodles. And tbh, we’re not fans of using them outside the realms of Asian cuisine. But given that the rice noodles used in pad Thai are also on the chewy-side, shirataki noodles do work quite well here. And in our book, definitely worth a try. Red Crab Thai Restaurant in Ellerslie Auckland
Since it opened in the mid-’90s, Sripraphai has set the standard for New York’s real-deal Thai restaurants, marking the Woodside-Elmhurst area as the definitive Mecca and serving as a difficult-to-pronounce (it’s the owner’s first name) calling card for anyone who wants to show off what an adventurous and authenticity-seeking eater they are. If you expect to be treated as someone who knows the least bit about Thai food, the only answer to “Have you been to Sripraphai?” is a resounding “Yes.” The many-paged menu, with dishes both familiar and unusual from all over the country, can be overwhelming, and so encourages repeat visits, each with its own rewards, from the coconut-milk-free, slow-burn jungle curry to the horizon-expanding crispy watercress salad (for which the green is battered and fried, topped with cashews and dried chiles) to piles of spicy fermented Isan sausage. Lemongrass Chicken Recipe Video by YumYum
Crying Tiger is a tiny take-out window a few feet off of Hollywood Blvd. and, at first glance, seems like another decent drunk food option for everyone stumbling out of the bars. But Crying Tiger is much, much more. First off, it’s operated by the Luv2Eat people, so expect flavors and spice to be intense. Secondly, their menu goes far beyond a solid bowl of pad thai. Think spinach-based jade noodles, shu mai dumplings, and crispy chicken skin. If you feel like sitting down, hop inside the bar next door at Black Magic Rose where the full Crying Tiger menu is also available. อาหารไทย - Thai Food Near Me by Chumnan
This East Dallas legend, more than 20 years old, is one of Dallas’ best options for reliably great Thai food. Definitely order the satay, which is grilled to perfection at the table, and a piping hot bowl of tom kha gai, extra spicy. Pad see ew, pad thai, and Thai barbecue chicken are all excellent entree choices, and don’t sleep on the sticky rice & mango dessert. Crouch End Clock tower 100 year Celebration
Kris Yenbamroong isn’t trying to recreate analogues of ordinary Thai food; for that, there’s a host of other places that do a better job conveying the experience as one would in Thailand. No, what the Larb King is doing is communicating Thai culture through ingredients more prevalent Stateside (and in the case of necessary components like spice mixes for his famous larb, he’ll just go bring them from Thailand himself). For instance, a dish like kor moo yang might manifest itself as "pork toro," the marinated pork jowl grilled until the ends slightly curl into little caramelized bits, or a succulent grilled pork shoulder that’s been treated with turmeric overnight and grilled to melting-tender perfection.
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You can’t go wrong with Thai noodle soups. They’re flavorful, customizable, and good to the last drop. Although boat noodles -- a pork and beef dish flavored with spices and fresh blood -- are typically the most popular of the noodle soup dishes in Thailand (and worth trying if you’ve yet to have it!), I’d also suggest slurping up a bowl of kuay tiew phet, or duck noodle soup. The broth gets its warm flavor from a blend of cinnamon, star anise, and five spice and delights when the duck has the perfect ratio of meat to fat. I prefer my bowl to contain flat, large rice noodles but the best part about Thai noodle soups is that you can choose your favorite style whether you like vermicelli, egg noodles, or glass noodles. Eat Tokyo a Restaurants in London serving Japanese Food like Sushi and Sashimi