The Night + Market chef, restaurateur, and wine enthusiast’s been on the move, literally: Earlier this year Kris Yenbamroong launched a Venice outpost of his growing Thai-food empire and now he himself calls the oceanfront neighborhood home. The moves were in addition to publishing a cookbook, running his Night + Markets in West Hollywood and Silver Lake, and keeping pace with his regular onslaught of pop-ups and dinner events; within the last two weeks alone he’s cooked with NYC and SF’s Mission Chinese Food and Portland’s Pok Pok, and just last night won hearts and seared tongues during LA Food Bowl’s Tui Sungkamee tribute.
Simply put, he’s everywhere. If you eat Thai food in L.A., you know Yenbamroong. We caught up with the chef in between dinners and cookbook events to learn the go-to in his new ’hood, plus where his family—who founded the Thai vanguard Talésai—loves to eat.
What’s your favorite neighborhood restaurant?
My wife and I recently moved to Venice and our favorite spot that’s close by is Gjusta. It’s food that we could eat day in, day out: delicious, clean, uplifting, and the best smoked fish in the city.
Drinking’s a big component to the Night + Market experience; who’s got your favorite beverage program in town?
We love what Roni [Ginach] is doing with the program at Michael’s. It’s a very well-rounded [wine] list, with a reverence for tradition but an eye toward some new things as well. There is real vision with the list. It’s not a hipster wine list.
You’re off the clock. Where do you shop for wine?
You’ve had a night out, and now it’s time to soak up some of that alcohol. What’s your late-night food move?
Nachos BellGrande from Taco Bell.
Your family is of course also in the industry, having owned and operated Talésai for decades. When you all go out as a family, where do you eat?
We’ve had a lot of very nice family dinners at Sotto, which is one of our top five restaurants in the city—hits the spot whether it’s just my wife and I or if we’ve got the whole family in tow.
And you know we couldn’t come to you for picks without asking about Grandma Yenbamroong: What’s her favorite L.A. restaurant?
She loves Shunji, both the man and the restaurant. Shunji [Nakao] is the Richard Gere of the sushi world.
Night + Market WeHo is located at 9043 Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood, Night + Market Song sits at 3322 W Sunset Blvd in Silver Lake; and you can find the new Night + Market Sahm at 2533 Lincoln Blvd in Venice.