10 Best Eats in Thai Town: Neighborhood Grub Crawl
|Green Curry Mussels at Jitlada|
If there is one menu in town that has the best chance of being written about by cultural anthropologists 20 years from now, it's Jitlada's collection of Southern Thai specialties. The eatery's epic range of toxic-smelling curries and fiery salads has become a firm part of the L.A. canon. The restaurant, which these days serves more celebrities than BOA, has developed a cult following like nowhere else in town. After a plate of coconut mango salad or one of marinated raw blue crab, you probably should try the plump New Zealand mussels, stacked shell to shell, swimming inside a piping hot metal bowl. 5233 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A., 323-663-3104
G. Snyder Darabar Secret Thai Cuisine
5. Darabar Secret Thai Cuisine:
While we were originally attracted by the promise of cheap liquor, it turns out that Darabar also serves a tasty menu of some harder-to-find Thai dishes, which alone should warrant a daytime visit. Staples like the khao kluk kapi, shrimp paste fried rice with shredded egg, green apple and sweet pork sausage; and the hoy tod, a fried omelet studded with mussels, are more than solid. Just don't make the mistake of asking for the raw crab papaya salad -- probably one of the best in town, along with Krua Siri across the street -- to be prepared spicy, and then be stuck wishing you had something besides a glass of scotch to soothe your burning tongue. 5112 Hollywood Blvd., L.A.; 323-668-2717.
G. Snyder Pork Patties at Spicy BBQ
4. Spicy BBQ:
Spicy BBQ is best known for its heavily seasoned Northern Thai dishes, including lap thawt, fiery, fried pork patties that look like something Farmer John would come up with if he spent a few years floating along the Mekong, and nam prik oom, a pounded chile dip made with heaps of garlic and serrano peppers served with cucumbers, cabbage and crunchy fried pork rinds. Equally renowned is the restorative khai soi, a rich chicken noodle soup thickened with coconut milk and topped with raw onions and house-made pickles. 5101 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.; 323-663-4211.
5253 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA