On a recent late-summer evening, the Sathirathiwat family set up a temporary outdoor kitchen on Hollywood Boulevard in Thai Town. The area is already flush with established Thai restaurants that have been serving for decades, but in only a few hours, hundreds of diners will descend upon the neon-lit Rad Nah Silom, place an order, and sit down at a checkered tablecloth-covered table.
Even though Rad Nah Silom operates as a temporary space in front of Silom Supermarket, it’s one of the hottest places to dine in Los Angeles. Plenty of TikTok and Instagram content creators have chronicled the action surrounding the spot, which opened in late 2020. With a constant flow of people seated at the outdoor tables, international pop music blaring from a mini-speaker, and hovering strings of lights, Rad Nah Silom feels like a beacon in an already pulsing part of town. The pop-up brings a warm familiarity to those who have visited Thailand’s bustling night markets, and all from a tight-knit family that hustles to bring a slice of Bangkok to East Hollywood.
Rad Nah Silom’s popularity is remarkable for a pop-up that only serves eight dishes nightly. That’s enough options for a group of diners to order four or five of its standout items: rad nah stir-fried noodles in gravy, pad thai, pad see ew, and pad kra pao topped with a fried egg.
The stand is run by matriarch Rungthip Sathirathiwat and her sons: Sathit, Teerawat, Arthit, and Sakorn. (The father resides in Thailand where the Sathirathiwats have a restaurant called Rad Nar 4 Brothers.) The family preps fresh produce before service and spends up to two days making the secret sauces. That’s hours before heading to the storefront at 4 p.m. to set up the multiple wok stations. Only family members are permitted to prepare Rad Nah Silom’s prized recipes.
When approaching Rad Nah Silom, look for Rungthip sporting her signature bucket hat made from IKEA’s now-iconic blue bag. The four brothers frequently hover over the pots and woks. Sathit’s favorite recipe to make is the saucy rad nah topped with generous slices of pork. No one has a designated spot or job, everyone works together to get dishes to hungry diners as quickly as possible, especially late-night when customers fill every table. It’s a long, grueling shift that keeps the pop-up operating from 6 p.m. until midnight.
Those used to a more Americanized version of pad thai noodles will find different flavors and ingredients at Rad Nah Silom. Here, the popular dish is topped with dried shrimp bearing subtle sweetness and caramelization. For the other noodle dishes, both thin and thick rice noodles are available. All dishes are wok-fired, even the fried rice. Sathit says it takes a bit of time to prepare the marinated ground pork pad kra pao dish, which packs heat with chiles; chile sauce is on hand for those who like it extra hot.
A few weeks ago, the Sathirathiwats added sweet and savory Thai-style crepes to the menu. Fillings include ingredients like banana, Nutella, strawberries, chile paste, egg, and crab meat. The dish makes for an ideal takeaway.
Rad Nah Silom is open from 6 p.m. to midnight at 5321 Hollywood Boulevard in Thai Town. Note: A Google search might yield two different results: Lad Nah Silom is from 2019, when the Sathirathiwats launched a Thai barbecue skewer pop-up across the street from the current location. Try typing in both names or “Stick BBQ” for the correct spot.