Larb Over Lanterns
Loi Krathong, the annual Thai celebration that pays respect to the goddess of water, is upon us next Monday, November 14. As people in Thailand release thousands of lanterns into the moonlit sky and float handmade lotus-shaped rafts in the water, we’ll be celebrating with some larb and curry stateside. Here’s our roundup of noteworthy restaurants and dishes from coast to coast where you can truly experience the fragrant, vibrant, and bold flavors of Thailand:
New York, New York
Photo Courtesy of Fish Cheeks
Infamous for their "No Pad Thai" policy, Fish Cheeks has recently topped every NYC foodie's restaurant bucket list. The authentic menu showcases foods the Suansilphong siblings ate in their childhood, including, of course, tender fish cheek, which is considered a delicacy in Asia. From coconut crab curry to nam tok pork, every dish embodies grub for the adventurous soul.
Fish Cheeks 55 Bond St New York, NY 10012
Night + Market
Los Angeles, California
Photo Courtesy of Bebi Viral
Talk to any and all Los Angeles-based food obsessives, and the majority of them are likely to name Night + Market as one of their favorite restaurants. Recently named Best New Chef by Food and Wine Magazine, Chef Kris Yenbamroong presents the unadulterated flavors of Northern Thailand from fried pig tails to fermented pork sausage. Go in ready to embrace and savor the bold, spicy, and completely addictive flavor profiles.
Night + Market 9043 Sunset Blvd West Hollywood, CA 90069
San Francisco, California
Photo Courtesy of SF Weekly
Lers Ros, which means "excellent taste of the food" in Sanskrit, is dedicated to presenting unique and fresh dishes with "true Thai taste". One of our favorites is the papaya salad: perfectly spicy and balanced with tender shrimp. And don’t skip the pad see ew with chicken. Pro tip: The crispy chicken from the Crispy Chicken Fried Rice can be ordered separately!
Lers Ros 3189 16th St San Francisco, CA 94103
Asia Market Thai Restaurant
Photo Courtesy of Houston Chronicle
Don't be put off by the unpromising exterior of Asia Market, a little mom-and-pop Thai grocery store that houses a reliable source of Thai cooking that is not adulterated for Western palates. Chow hounds swear by this tiny, rustic kitchen's drunken noodles and sinus-clearing som tam (green papaya salad). Other must-orders include the panang curry with Thai eggplant and pad kee mao (broad noodles stir-fried with basil). If you're really looking for something spicy, channel your inner daredevil and order your food "Thai hot".
Asia Market Thai Restaurant 4822 Fulton St Houston, TX 77009
Photo Courtesy of Andrew Zimmern
An unlikely face of Thai cuisine in the U.S., Chef Andy Ricker has garnered a national reputation and a James Beard award for his expertise in Southeast Asian cuisine. At Pok Pok, don't expect anything close to Asian "fusion" - instead, you'll find a menu full of North and Northeast Thai specialities like Laap Plaa Duuk Yaang Isaan, a light and spicy minced catfish salad, and Hoi Thawt, a crispy broken crepe filled with steamed mussels, succulent eggs, and garlic chives topped with a shark sriracha sauce - prepare to be blown away!
Pok Pok 3226 SE Division St Portland, OR 97202