If Thai food is anything, it is colorful and vibrant — especially in Los Angeles, home to the largest population of Thais outside of Thailand and the unofficial 77th province of the “land of smiles.” Jade green noodles topped with juicy char siu, warm and comforting yellow curry, and red hot tom yum can all be found within the confines of the city of Angels, from Long Beach to Pasadena to America’s one and only Thai Town located in East Hollywood. Here are 23 of Eater’s favorites, specializing in regional dishes, remixing Thai flavors in recipes that can only be found in LA, or serving up wok-fired classics.Read More
23 Tantalizing Thai Restaurants in Los Angeles
Northern Thai sausage, southern seafood curry, Isaan papaya salads, and everything in between
Sri Siam Cafe
Find one of the city’s best Thai restaurants located off Vanowen in North Hollywood at Sri Siam, just a skip away from the beloved Thai temple Wat Thai. With a menu that ranges from khao soi to crispy trout, it’s no wonder it has been a Valley go-to for more than 30 years.
Altadena’s newest Thai restaurant Miya embodies the vibes of Thailand’s ahaan tham sang restaurants or quick-order joints. The menu — scrawled on butcher paper taped up to a door — is small but mighty: find wok-fresh pad thai and pad see ew; a trio of yellow, green, and khao soi curries; and rice dishes that include spicy chicken stir-fried with basil. Miya is the spot for classics done simply.
Anajak Thai Cuisine
Four-decade-old Anajak Thai is more than just a family affair; during the pandemic, it became a staple dining destination for fans in the Valley and all across Los Angeles with accolades to boot. Second-generation owner Justin Pichetrungsi has creatively played with ingredients and dishes in a series of fun events, from Thai Taco Tuesdays to his omakase dinners. Although reservations are difficult to come by, they are highly recommended.
Chim, which translates to “to taste” in Thai, brings the business of Bangkok street food to Pasadena. The decor nods to tuk tuks or rickshaws that roam Thailand’s capital while servers don the bright orange vests typically saved for motorcycle taxis. For snacks, opt for the roti served with Panang curry, herbaceous northern Thai sausage, and yum wai wai (a zippy instant noodle salad). The star, however, is the su kho thai noodles: this noodle soup is served above a flickering flame and features the brightness of tom yum with the addition of fish cakes, crushed peanuts, and chicken meatballs, all atop soft rice noodles.
Sapp Coffee Shop
Sapp is famous for its spinach-tinted jade noodles topped with a medley of barbecue pork, roast duck, and crab meat, but one would be hard-pressed to find a dud on the menu. From pad kra pao to an intensely fragrant boat noodle, everything is fair game at this Hollywood staple that won the hearts of Jonathan Gold and Anthony Bourdain.
Bhan Kanom Thai
Bhan Kanom Thai is a bodega-like palace of Thai sweets and snacks. One can find an array of Thai-flavored Lays (the betel leaf miang kam flavor is a favorite), both sweet mango sticky rice and sour green mango with anchovy dip, and freshly prepared Thai-style crispy crepes. The refrigerated section also boasts a selection of coconut cakes, Thai tea custards, and black sticky rice pudding studded with cubed taro.
Ruen Pair has been a stalwart in Thai Town for a quarter of a century for good reason. It’s long been a delightful late-night hangout, with dishes inspired by the central and northeast regions of Thailand. Some standouts include the papaya salad with raw crab, shrimp dressed in spicy Thai seafood sauce, and fried egg with salted turnip, all best paired with a glass of frosty beer.
Rad Nah Silom
For a taste of Bangkok street food, complete with plastic stools, visit this temporary stand that exists outside of Silom Supermarket at night. The Sathirathiwat family’s pop-up has been a trending TikTok favorite, serving only eight dishes, ranging from rad nah stir-fried noodles in gravy to pad kra pao with a fried egg, with aplomb.
Heng Heng Chicken Rice
East Hollywood newcomer Heng Heng Chicken Rice’s titular dish is worth a visit. This Thai take on Hainanese chicken rice comes with the choice of fried or steamed chicken atop garlicky rice with the option of adding on liver and gizzards, too. The dish is served with a side of comforting chicken broth and a fragrant ginger sauce. For heat seekers, be sure to also get the zabb crispy rice, a medley of pork belly, fried chicken, and herbs coated in a spicy and sour fish sauce dressing.
Southern Thai seafood is the star here. In order to navigate the restaurant’s menu of biblical proportions, avoid the treacherous dynamite spicy challenge and order one of Jitlada’s crab curries and the fried morning glory salad. Be sure to wave to owner Jazz Singsanong, who is a celebrity in her own right in East Hollywood.
Pa Ord Noodle
This particular location, tucked away in the corner of a strip mall off Sunset (there’s another one on Hollywood Boulevard), has some of the best boat noodles in the business. Diners can choose between thin or flat rice noodles, egg noodles, or glass noodles and steep them in an array of soup bases and toppings.
Stepping into Siam Sunset is like entering a Thai grandmother’s home: the walls are adorned with posters of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the TV is tuned into a Thai news channel, and the smell of fried Chinese doughnuts is inviting. The move here is breakfast. Get a comforting bowl of jok full of bouncy pork meatballs, pan-fried chive cakes that have a crunchy exterior and chewy interior, and of course Chinese doughnuts, known as pa tong go, dipped in sweetened condensed milk. Bring cash.
Amphai Northern Thai Food Club
No essential Thai food list in Los Angeles could exclude critical darling Amphai Northern Thai Food Club. That crumbly sai oua (pork sausage) is hugely fragrant thanks to the addition of lemongrass, galangal, and a chiffonade of makrut lime leaf, and the khao soi is as good as one can find in the city.
The Original Hoy-Ka Thai Noodle
“Hoy ka,” means to dangle legs — a reference to how Thai boat noodles were originally served alongside the Chao Phraya River to diners dangling their legs into the water. Although Hoy-Ka noodle is not quite as atmospheric, the space is still a fun time with wooden exposed beams, brick walls, and TVs all around. As the name suggests, boat noodles are the move here, but the spare rib tom yum, pink-hued yentafo, and roasted duck noodle soup are also worthwhile.
Isaan Station Thai Street Food
For the sour and spicy bite of Thailand’s northeastern region, Isaan Station in Koreatown is the place to visit. Find all the Isaan classics: fermented sausage, papaya salad filled with pickled crab, succulent pork neck, and an assortment of different larbs or meat salads — all of which pair ideally with a side of sticky rice.
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Tantawan Thai Kitchen
This longstanding Thai restaurant (which has an additional location in West Covina), is a charming spot that stands out among the rest of the SGV Thai restaurants due to its unique dishes. The crunchy catfish salad comes out in a dome-like puff and is paired with a spicy sour apple slaw, while the lime-punched century eggs with Chinese sausage salad should not be skipped.
Tuk Tuk Thai
This former Pico Boulevard staple has been reborn after 23 years, landing a new (and very updated) location on Sawtelle. Sisters Katy Noochlaor and Amanda Kuntee — who grew up in one of LA’s oldest Thai restaurants, Chao Krung — are running the show, turning out vibrant Thai dishes across a broad spectrum. Expect everything from noodles and papaya salad to a portion of the menu devoted entirely to pork belly.
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Holy Basil DTLA
Holy Basil has revived the Thai food scene in Downtown and it’s all thanks to chef Wedchayan “Deau” Arpapornnopparat and Tongkamal “Joy” Yuon. The green curry is one of the stand’s signature dishes, while the fluffy omelet with basil and vegan larb mushrooms with Brussels sprouts are unique contenders. Don’t forget to pair the meal with something from the eccentric wine list.
Ayara Thai Cuisine
Ayara Thai Cuisine is very much a family-run business and has been an important part of the Westchester community for nearly 20 years. The Asapahu family knocks out a solid menu with dishes like back baby ribs with a spicy sauce, ground pork and shrimp toast, and poached salmon in a red curry-coconut sauce. It’s also important to check the restaurant’s Instagram feed where special events are advertised, like a marijuana-infused boat noodle dinner and moo krata (Thai hot pot) parties.
This just-off-the-5 Norwalk restaurant, formally owned by the family behind Lotus of Siam, specializes in Northern Thai delicacies but doesn’t skimp on all the more broadly familiar stuff. Stop by for a great version of nam kao tod crispy rice with plenty of pork sausage and red cotton flower noodle soup known as kanom jeen nam ngiao.
It’s hard to imagine fast-casual Thai food being done any better than at Bowl Thai, the Gardena staple spot known for extra-spicy soups and traditional noodle dishes.
Panvimarn Thai Cuisine
Panvimarn Thai Cuisine has been Long Beach’s go-to for Thai specialties for the past 13 years. The bustling restaurant is home to big groups, a lively bar scene, and dishes like spicy and fried soft shell crab salad, grilled meats, and one beguilingly fiery sauteed eggplant.
Tasty Food To Go - Thai & Lao
This cash-only Long Beach option is a great stop for both Thai and Lao food, offering a mixed menu that moves from starters like fried chicken to noodle and rice dishes and right on into Lao-style papaya salad with salted shrimp. The po tak, a fiercely sour soup loaded with seafood and chiles, is a must-order.