Hi Thai Noodle. Both a collegiate hangout and a serious noodle shop, Hi Thai is a bright, noisy shotgun marriage between a fast-food restaurant and a high-style café. The menu is basic, but this is a pretty good place to experience the offhanded excellence of real Thai cooking. 5229 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 465-4415. Lunch and dinner seven days 24 hours. No alcohol. Street parking. MC, V. Lunch or dinner for two, food only, $10–$14. Thai. JG $

Palm Thai. Palm Thai may be the most famous Thai supper club in Hollywood — with Thai tour buses often parked out front. The food is first-rate. There is a proper papaya salad, and Palm Thai prepares the best version in town of suea rong hai, northeastern-style barbecued beef. 5273 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 462-5073. Lunch and dinner seven days 11 a.m.–mid. (until 1:30 a.m. Fri.–Sat.). Beer and wine. Takeout. Lot parking. MC, V. Dinner for two, food only, $18–$40. Thai. JG $

Pattaya. This modest Thai restaurant has a number of things going for it. First, it has a parking lot, a true boon in this bustling, ever-hippifying neighborhood. Second, it stays open nightly until 4 a.m., which means that you can get an excellent curative hot pot of chicken soup before you call it quits on a long evening out. Finally, it has a kitchen full of good cooks, so that whenever you come, you have a solid chance of getting something delicious to eat. 1727 N. Vermont Ave., (323) 666-0880. Open seven days 11 a.m.–4 a.m. Beer and wine. Takeout. Lot parking. AE, MC, V. Entrées $10 & up. Thai. MH $

Rambutan Thai. Rambutan is hip enough for designers and artists, romantic enough for dates, and authentic and passionate enough in its cooking for ethnic-food lovers. The kitchen refreshingly and correctly assumes that its hip Silver Lake clientele has the sophistication and ability to appreciate the full Thai flavors. But more timid eaters will find plenty of accessible, Americanized crossover hits on the menu’s “from the grill” section. 2835 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, (213) 273-8424. Lunch and dinner Mon.–Fri. 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m., dinner Sat. 5p.m.–mid., Sun. 5–11 p.m. Beer, wine and sake. Lot parking. Entrées $8–$14. AE, MC, V. Thai. MH $

Renu Nakorn. Renu Nakorn’s food is spicy, but what makes it wonderful is the fresh play of tastes, a fugue of herbs, meatiness and citrus that is quite unlike anything at your corner Thai café. There’s a blistering larb of finely ground catfish, and an extraordinary version of steak tartare that is so delicious it could sear the hairs out of your nostrils. 13041 E. Rosecrans Ave., Norwalk, (562) 921-2124. Lunch and dinner Mon.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Beer and wine. Lot parking. MC, V. Entrées $5.95–$19.95. Thai. JG ¢

Ruen Pair Thai. One can order the standard pad Thai and cashew chicken, but more interesting choices include preserved-egg salad and pork fried with Chinese olives. At 2 a.m., everybody is eating more or less the same thing: flat, crisp Thai omelets, and morning-glory stems fried with an immoderate amount of garlic. 5257 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 466-0153. 11 a.m.–4 a.m. daily. No alcohol. Lot parking. Cash only. Entrées $4.95–$7.95. Thai. JG ¢

Saladang and Saladang Song. For a long time, Saladang was Pasadena’s most beautiful Thai restaurant, with its stark, chic, aluminum-gray good looks and refreshing, inventive Thai cuisine. Saladang became so popular, in fact, the owners built an annex one door down. The newer Saladang Song trumps its parent for sheer beauty; its architecture alone is worth a visit. Saladang: 363 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, (626) 793-8123. 10 a.m.–9:45 p.m., seven days. Saladang Song: 383 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, (626) 793-5200. 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m., seven days; beer and wine. Lot parking. Takeout. AE, MC, V. $10-$20. Thai. MH $

Sanamluang Café. Sanamluang is a Thai place to duck into and out of at 3 a.m. after the clubs close for vast plates of rice fried with mint leaves, seafood and chiles; for big, comforting bowls of chicken soup flavored with toasted garlic; and for wide noodles fried with Chinese broccoli and shiitake mushrooms. 5176 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 660-8006. Open daily 10:30 a.m.–4 a.m. No alcohol. Lot parking. Cash only. Entrées $5–$10. Thai. JG ¢

Sapp Coffee Shop. There is nothing at first glance to distinguish Sapp Coffee Shop from any of the other restaurants in Thai Town. But Sapp may be the best lunchroom in Hollywood. It’s the Thai equivalent of the Apple Pan, remarkable for its unremarkableness, a lunchroom where the virtues of homeliness become extraordinary when put in context with the shiny, glittery surfaces against which it might compete. 5183 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 665-1035. Lunch and dinner 7 a.m.–8 p.m.; closed Wednesdays. Cash only. No alcohol. Takeout. Lot parking. Lunch for two, food only, $8.50–$14.50. Thai. JG ¢

Talesai. The owners of Talesai on Sunset Boulevard brought all their experience and many of their best dishes to this chic, glassed-in fishbowl of a café situated at one end of a Beverly Hills mini-mall. Through it all, the refined Thai cooking sings with freshness, quality and flavor. 9198 Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 271-9345. Lunch Mon.–Fri. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.; dinner seven days 5–10 p.m. Beer and wine. Takeout. Lot parking. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Entrées $7.95–$12.95. Thai. MH $

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