There are plenty of restaurants for your after-hours Thai food needs in L.A., from Sanamluang to Nariya and more. But there's really only one place for Thai food and a party, sometimes until 5 a.m. That would be Thai Angel, a dark hole-in-a-mall that comes alive with riffraff from the bars after 2 a.m. It would be easy to say some of the characters are shady, but then you run into a big-time Hollywood screenwriter or see some of the nice girls from Jumbo's Clown Room at a table. It is, like L.A., an unpredictable mix. Even the music, from servers' plugged-in iPhones to impromptu stage karaoke, ranges from Thai pop to trance. One thing is steady here: the kind greetings of the owners and solid, down-home Thai food — spicy, ground pad krapow over steamed rice, pork rat na noodles covered in gravy and hot-and-sour yen ta fo soup steaming your face. On a Friday night Thai Angel has the best-tasting after-hours party in town. 970 N. Western Ave., Hlywd. (323) 461-3322.

—Dennis Romero

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