The best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles

Discover spicy soups, complex curries and flavorful stir-fries at LA's best Thai restaurants from Thai Town institutions to new-school favorites.

1/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: Crispy Morning Glory Salad at Jitlada

2/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: Crying Tiger Pork at Jitlada

3/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: green curry mussels at Jitlada

4/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: Jitlada

5/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: khana moo grob at Sanam Luang Café

6/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: khao pad krapow gai at Sanam Luang Café

7/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: tom kha at Sanam Luang Café

8/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: boat noodle soup at Sanam Luang Café

9/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: Wat Dong Moon Lek

10/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Crispy taro at Wat Dong Moon Lek

11/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: Spicy Pad Thai Sidewalk at Wat Dong Moon Lek

12/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: larb tod with fresh watermelon slushy at Wat Dong Moon Lek

13/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: tofu tom kha udon with at Wat Dong Moon Lek

14/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: seafood tom yam udon at Wat Dong Moon Lek

15/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: kow soi noodle at Wat Dong Moon Lek

16/29
Photograph: the Delicious Life

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: Chinese sausage fried rice at Ruen Pair

17/29
Photograph: the Delicious Life

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: Pad prik king with chicken at Ruen Pair

18/29
Photograph: the Delicious Life

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: minced pork with chili and basil at Ruen Pair

19/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: Ruen Pair

20/29
Photograph: Victor Leung

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: Startled Pig at Night + Market

21/29
Photograph: Victor Leung

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: crab fried rice at Night + Market

22/29
Photograph: Victor Leung

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: Chef Kris Yenbamroong at Night + Market

23/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: Cholada Thai Cuisine

24/29
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: Cholada Thai Cuisine

25/29
Photograph: Courtesy Cholada Thai Cuisine

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: panang seabass at Cholada Thai Cuisine

26/29
Photograph: Courtesy Cholada Thai Cuisine

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: Buddha's Feast at Cholada Thai Cuisine

27/29
Photograph: Lindsey Best

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: Saladang

28/29
Photograph: Lindsey Best

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: green curry at Saladang

29/29
Photograph: Lindsey Best

Best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles: fried banana at Saladang

Angelenos have it pretty good when it comes to Thai food. With Hollywood’s Thai Town as an essential dining destination for spice-hunters and chowhounders alike, LA has no shortage of eateries serving some of the best noodles, curries and sinus-clearing stir-fries around. When it comes to navigating the seemingly endless Thai options, bypass the usual greasy pad-thai joints and check out LA's best Thai restaurants throughout the city.

RECOMMENDED: Best restaurants in Los Angeles

Jitlada

Critics' pick

What would a top LA Thai list be without the beloved Jitlada? With endless celebrity photos and numerous "Best of" lists on the walls, chef Jazz Singsanong’s Thai town restaurant is one of the city’s cult favorites. Crispy Morning Glory Salad ($12.95) is an obligatory dish—a flavorful mix of crunchy, deep-fried Chinese watercress, plump shrimp, red onions, cilantro, red cabbage and bell peppers marinated in the spicy house dressing. If perusing the lengthy menu leaves you feeling dazed and confused, the green mussel curry ($15.95)—succulent New Zealand mussels piled high and bathed in an aromatic Southern curry flavored with lemongrass, sweet pineapples and chiles—is a good place to start on the extensive list of fiery Northern and Southern Thai specialties.

Read more
Hollywood

Wat Dong Moon Lek

Critics' pick

Silver Lake's Wat Dong Moon Lek has a menu that's anything but ordinary Thai. The upscale, modern spot focuses on noodles—try the namesake beef noodle soup (small, $3.99, big, $6.99) Bangkok’s version of pho, and kow soi ($8.99), Northern-style curry with chewy egg noodles topped with crispy noodles and a bright mix of pickled mustard green and red onion. For the latest in Thai culinary trends—did someone say Japanese fusion?—try the tom yum udon ($8.99) a spicy, lemongrass lime chile broth with fat soup noodles that bring an entirely new flavor to your otherwise standard bowl. For something extra special, ask for the off-menu, top-secret order of Laarb tod ($7.99), composed of crispy deep fried balls of Northeastern-style minced meat and herbs.

Read more
Hollywood

Sanam Luang Café

The no-frills, home-style cooking of this Thai Town joint attracts traditionalists citywide. You won't find fusion or overly sweet noodles here—only some of the best Asian comfort food (and slightly intimidating waitresses). Start with the classic tom kha kai ($5.95), a spicy coconut soup with plump chicken, mushrooms, lemongrass, lime juice and fresh chile for a refreshing starter. Then, take a menu detour to the spicy side with the khao pad krapaow gai ($7.25), a satisfying and fiery chicken, basil, rice stir-fry topped with an optional egg. The khana moo grob ($6.95)—crispy and juicy chunks of pork paired with broth-wilted Chinese kale—is a must. Be prepared: Wear relaxed (re: roomy) clothing, so you can dig in.

Read more

Ruen Pair

Critics' pick

Angelenos rhapsodize about Thai Town’s Ruen Pair with a fervor that borders on obsession. At this round-the-clock, cash-only favorite, the enticing Southeast Asian menu is full of beer-friendly, shareable plates such as fish cake pad ka prow ($7.95), spongy, light rounds sautéed in basil leaves and vibrant chilies. Stir-fry of Chinese olive and ground pork ($6.25) is served with crispy bits of flavorful pork, bright Chinese olives and fresh garlic served alongside a bowl of steaming rice. Pair with an order of sautéed morning glory—ask for it with crispy pork belly—for the ultimate late-night Thai combo.

Read more
Hollywood

Night + Market

What separates West Hollywood’s relative newcomer from old-school standbys—its sister annex, Talesai, included—is young chef and owner Kris Yenbamroong’s fresh, no-holds-barred take on his motherland cuisine. Yenbamroong’s menu highlights an intensely personal spin on Northern Thai and Bangkok street food that’s bold and original. Moo sadoong, aka Startled Pig, ($8) awakens the palate and clears the sinuses with mouthwatering grilled pork, basil, lemongrass, lime, fish sauce and a kick of garlic and birds-eye chilies. Pair it with coconut rice ($2) for a not-too-sweet offset to the sweat-inducing mouthful. The kao pad pu, or crab fried rice, ($14) is just as complex in flavor, boasting huge chunks of sweet, meaty crab—a definite must-have.

Read more
West Hollywood

Saladang

This Pasadena Thai eatery offers traditional takes on standards such as a green papaya salad prepared with dried shrimp called Papaya Pok Pok ($5.95) and green curry ($7.95), a thick, piquant sauce rounded out with coconut milk, basil, eggplant and a choice of chicken, pork, beef or mixed vegetables. The industrial-looking eatery, not to be confused with Saladang Song, its newer sister outpost next door, attracts a mix of local families and date-nighters. Start with delectable plates to share—such as pun klib ($7.95), garlicky bombs of steamed chicken dumplings—while longingly eyeing your neighbor’s sizzling beef with peanut sauce ($13.95) as it arrives on a piping-hot skillet piled high with beef atop wilted spinach and sprinkled generously with crunchy cashews. End the meal with a little dining entertainment: The fried banana ($4.95) wrapped in coconut is dipped in rum honey and set ablaze for a dessert spectacular.

Read more

Comments

0 comments