East Hollywood might still have the city’s highest concentration of Thai restaurants, but to get the full picture of Thai food in Los Angeles, it’s important to venture to North Hollywood. West of Coldwater Canyon, Sherman Way is dotted with regional Thai spots like Bua Siam, and you’ll also find a noodle specialist: Krua Thai.
The noodles aren’t made in-house, but Winne Ingudomkul’s nine-year-old restaurant still produces some of the best rice and egg noodle dishes in the area, relying on the strengths of their cooking and balanced flavors. Krua is best known for its pad Thai thanks to proponent Jonathan Gold, and it’s a very good version of the ubiquitous dish, but if you’re a fire eater, look to #60 on the menu. Chef Rub Lawanon is a Bangkok native who prepares a masterful version of Pad Kee Mao ($6.25), springy flat rice noodles stir fried with bits of chile, mint leaves, tomatoes, onions and a choice of beef, chicken or pork. The dish works especially well with crumbled pork. The noodles are slick with pork grease and chile oil, creating an intoxicating blast of heat that hits that back of your throat.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.