Thai food in Los Angeles is evolving in ways other cities could only dream about, and the most exciting evolution is the rise of Kris Yenbamroong and his Night + Market projects. What started as an experiment of sorts, a food and art space attached to the Yenbamroong family's long-standing Talesai in West Hollywood, continues to expand with the addition in February of Night + Market Sahm in Venice. It's hard to imagine Los Angeles without these powerhouse restaurants. Night + Market Song, which opened in 2014, brought Yenbamroong's funky, deeply personal Northern Thai cooking to Silver Lake, where the neighborhood rejoiced in the colorful room with its plastic beads and topless Cindy Crawford poster and list of affordable, mainly natural wines. Here, along with the spicy larb and khao soi and pad kee mao he was known for, Yenbamroong debuted a fantastic fried chicken sandwich topped with papaya and jalapeño, and "Bangkok mall pasta" spicy spaghetti, showcasing the direction he's going in as a cook — Thai-based but increasingly borderless. What makes the food here so exceptional is the extreme care taken, the roasting of chilies, the layering of flavors. —Besha Rodell
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