Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (due out Oct. 4), we'll be counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.
48: Papaya Salad at Krua Siri.
It's 3 a.m. on a Saturday night -- Sunday morning, really -- do you know where your papaya salad is? Krua Siri, a small pill-box of a restaurant located in the Eastern stretch of Thai town, might be best known among certain Hollywood residents as the place that delivers until the wee hours of the morning every day of the week.
For others, it is better known as a headquarters for intensely flavorful Northern Thai cuisine. These people are right -- if you avoid bland pitfalls like teriyaki salmon or orange chicken, and instead ask your server to steer you towards the special (previously untranslated) Issan-style menu, your prescience will be rewarded with fragrant curries, four-day fermented sausage, and a potent laab salad made with crispy bits of skin duck skin and toasted rice.
Our favorite is the som tum, a bright crunchy mixture of unripened green papaya dressed with lime juice, fish sauce, and a blazing handful of dried pulverized bird's eye chiles. What sets this version apart, aside from its formidable funky tartness, is the translucent slivers of raw, slightly cured shrimp bobbing in the jade-colored liquid like Mexican aguachile.
The aroma of low-tide and citrus is enough to inspire tropical fever dreams, especially when the kitchen can be persuaded into tossing in a bit of raw blue crab. Did we mention you can have this delivered at 3 a.m.? When something as exotic and revelatory as this dish is available around time the the east coast feed of Morning Joe comes on MSNBC, it should, and does, boggle the mind.
Check out the rest of our 100 of our favorite dishes. Suggestion? Write us a comment.
100: Lukshon's Dan Dan Noodles
99: Cemita de Milanesa at Cemitas Poblanos Elviritas #1
98: Chichen Itza's Cochinita Pibil
97: Tsukemen at Tsujita L.A.
96: La Cevicheria's Bloody Clam Ceviche
95: Duck Shawarma at Momed
94: Peruvian Chicken at Pollo a la Brasa
93: Squash Blossom Quesadilla at Antojitos Carmen
92: Thai Boat Noodles at Pa-Ord
91: Baco Mercat's Bazole
90: Furikake Kettle Corn at A-Frame
89: Live Santa Barbara Spot Prawns at Providence
88: Fried Pig Tails at Night + Market
87: Egg Salad Sandwich at Euro Pane
86: Galbi Jjim at Soban
85: Truffle Honey-Laced Fried Chicken at Manhattan Beach Post
84: Mool Naeng Myun at Yu Chic Naeng Myun
83: Chicken Vampiro at Mexicali Taco & Co
82: Sooo Cali Dog at Dog Haus
81: White Anchovy, Tomato and Fresno Chile Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza
80: Shu Mai at Elite Restaurant
79: Tandoori Chicken at Al-Watan
78: Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding at The Hungry Cat
77: Agedashi Tofu at Izakaya Bincho
76: Pork Chop at Salt's Cure
75: Porcetto at Sotto
74: The Sea Urchin Tostada at La Guerrerense
73: Wood-Roasted English Peas at Tar & Roses
72: Persian Mulberries at Weiser Family Farms
71: Hunan-Style Preserved Pork with Tofu at Hunan Chilli King
70: Brisket Banh Mi at Gjelina Take Away
69: Yukhwe Bibimbap at Oo-Kook Korean BBQ
68: Lamb Pie at Beijing Pie House
67: Son of a Gun's Uni and Burrata
66: Pastrami Reuben at Art's Delicatessen
65: Beef Koobideh at Kabab Mahaleh
64: The Whipper Burger at Hawkins House of Burgers
63: Slippery Shrimp at Yang Chow
62: Whole Channel Island Red Sea Urchin at Water Grill
61: Going Dutch Panini at Bread Lounge
60: Huckleberry's Green Eggs & Ham
59: Pickled Watermelon Salad at L&E Oyster Bar
58: Spaghettini with Abalone, Pickled Cod Roe and Truffles at n/naka
57: Brown Brown Bread Ice Cream at Scoops Westside
56: Smothered Chicken at R and R Soul Food
55: Duck Fried Rice at Jar
54: Taco Sampler at Guisados
53: The Sycamore Kitchen's Double BLT-A Sandwich
52: House Wonton Soup at China Café
51: Almond Croissant at Proof Bakery
50: The Southern Fry at Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
49: The Dodger Dog at Dodger Stadium
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