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J.Gold Captures Night + Market Song Perfectly

Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

This week, Jonathan Gold reviews Night + Market Song, Kris Yenbamroong's sophomore effort in Silver Lake. And this review couldn't have captured the essence of the young Thai-American chef's effort better, from the décor to the flavors on the plate:

To eat the luu suk, you mix the herbs into the soup, scatter the pork rinds over the top and scoop up the mixture with balls of sticky rice. It is actually fairly mild in taste, much less intimidating in flavor than it is in appearance, although your napkin will soon begin to resemble the aftermath of a knife fight. Luu suk can be a gruesome prospect even for the most jaded eaters among us...

So is luu suk on the menu because the chef thinks his customers, appetites whetted at nose-to-tail restaurants like Animal and the original West Hollywood Night + Market, will love it? Is it a dish that exists to be Instagrammed? Does it enhance foodie street cred when you dine in a restaurant that serves warm pig blood, even if you personally wouldn't touch the stuff?

Photo by Elizabeth Daniels

Mr. Gold continues with:

"The chef is liberal in his use of dried fish, bitter Thai herbs and all sorts of chiles, but it is possible, if only barely, to have an unchallenging dinner here. The pad Thai is hotter, more tamarind-forward than you may be used to, but it is still recognizably pad Thai....

Instead of the user-friendly pad kee mao, fried rice noodles, at the Sunset Strip restaurant, there is something the chef calls "Bangkok mall pasta," an aggressively spicy dish of spaghetti stir-fried with toasted garlic, smelly chunks of dried fish and baby peppercorns still on the branch — the Thai equivalent of Italian aglio e olio and just as likely to haunt your breath for the better part of a week. [LAT]

Photo by Elizabeth Daniels

Patric Kuh of LA Magazine likes the efforts of Perfecto Rocher at smoke.oil.salt.:

Rocher's octopus isn't that different. After blanching them (which helps keep the skin from slipping off), he places the tentacles in a pressure cooker with red wine before giving them a hit of smoke over the fire (too long, and they lose their bounce, leaning more toward the tender style eaten in Italy). Then he arranges the slices atop disks of boiled potatoes, showering the whole with a vinaigrette and some pimentón oil. Yeah, the same pimentón is in the salbitxada, but Rocher seems hell-bent on proving how the recurring elements of the Catalan table can create endless permutations. [LAMag]

Photo by Elizabeth Daniels

Meanwhile, Besha Rodell at LA Weekly lauds the elevated fast food at Eric Greenspan's Grilled Cheese on Melrose:

In some ways the sandwiches are basic, too. They're not big, and they're not particularly decadent — they come wrapped in foil, about 5 inches square. But the quality of the food is far better than what you'd find at your average fast-food joint, and much of it embodies one of Greenspan's greatest strengths as a chef: his sense of humor.

A significant wink and smirk is at play here, in his addictive latke bites, which encompass the best attributes of tater tots and latkes, or in his blue cheese sandwich, which is spicy buffalo wings in sandwich form: rye bread, spicy carrot celery slaw, fried chicken strips and blue cheese. It's as silly as it is fun and delicious. [LAW]

Photo by Elizabeth Daniels

Brad Johnson at LA Register enjoys Downtown's Faith & Flower, with high praise for the presentation:

Agnolotti are equally pornographic. Pasta wrappers bulge with oxtail as they bathe in a nage of bone marrow and tangerine. They are topped with the most angelic chicharrones — if chicharrones can indeed be called angelic. They are wispy and light, like cirrus clouds hovering above the plate. I can feel the melted bone fat on my lips. I can taste the tangerine in my throat. I can feel the pasta between my teeth. And I haven't yet taken a bite. My mind is salivating, racing, anticipating.

And when my tongue finally catches up, the synchronicity of my senses is confirmed. The eggs, the oysters, the pasta, it all tastes as delicious as it looks. [LAR]

The Elsewhere: Unemployed Eater tries Cecconi's Happy Hour, Darin Dines does Tokyo Fried Chicken, Refined Palate returns to Providence, and Eating LA likes Beelman's Pub in Downtown.
· All Week in Reviews [~ELA~]

smoke oil salt

7274 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046 323 930 7900

Night + Market Song

3322 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026