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AA Thai Town Los Angeles

AA Thai Town Los Angeles

Thai Town Los Angeles

For decades, Chinatown has been a cultural and culinary destination in America. Streets are packed with asian markets, authentic eateries, and bustling night markets every day. In 2014, a new kind of fusion emerged in Los Angeles: L.A.'s first Thai Town.

Place

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PhotaLai is a small massage business located at 5401 Hollywood Blvd. They were founded in 2004. Parking is metered on Hollywood Blvd or free on nearby side streets. They offer a variety of massages including Swedish, Deep Tissue, and Thai Reflexology. Depending on the time of day and week you can walk in – although reservations are recommended. The massage tables are lined up in long room with thick curtains between for privacy. The bathroom is all the way in the back. Strong massage therapists. Located next door to Hoy Ka Noodle Shop – great place to stop after a relaxing massage!

Once we found used condoms and other entertaining sex toys in one of the drawers. You ask why we stay here? It is in a good location, it is cheap (relative to this location) and there is just a certain appeal about staying in a place that is so trashed by time, perhaps a bit of nostalgia for what this place used to be like, and the intrigue of never knowing what to expect from a grumpy and temperamental staff. The place is so bad you don’t even find out of work actors here.

This is heart of Thai Town and the shops and restaurants do triple time to accommodate the crowds that frequent their establishments during this one busiest day of the year. We’ve seen police and firemen trying to block crowds from going into some of the stores b/c it was wall to wall people inside! Even the Mayor of Los Angeles typically attends this event and participates in the Parade – which usually takes place on the eastern part of Hollywood Blvd that is closed to through traffic. Another highlight is the Thai beauty pageant where the women walk down the catwalk strutting their stuff to what we can only describe as rhythmic house music. Ages of the contestants in past years have ranged from 16 to 25. View our photos below and also visit: www.thainewyear.com

During Songkran Wat Thai fills up with visitors, the parking lot on the east side is completely turned into food vendors selling great authentic Thai food as well as Thai craft vendors. In addition there is music and dancing and other cultural events on the central stage. Tickets are also sold for prize items – you fish out plastic eggs from a pond and the numbers in each egg correspond to various prizes. In the afternoons dancing takes place with a large group of dancers circling several times through the temple playing music and beating drums. It is a very festive atmosphere. The weather in mid April is typically typical LAish, warm, sunny and mostly clear. We’ve been to this event 6x now and have always experienced decent weather.

Whenever people ask what the absolute best restaurant in LA is, it’s our natural reflex to blurt out Luv2Eat. So sometimes it’s hard for us to branch out and go to new places, because this Southern Thai spot has a way of luring us in. Everything about Luv2Eat looks and feels like any other strip mall restaurant in the city, but the food and the warm service stand out. Its greatness lies in the Chef’s Special section of the menu, a mixed bag of dishes that showcases the two chefs’ family recipes from Phuket. The Phuket-style crab curry, for instance, when combined with the fatty crab meat bathing at the bottom, takes sweet, salty, and sour to euphoric levels. Even the moo-ping, a simple grilled pork skewer appetizer, is marinated and charred so perfectly that it should really be rebranded as candy-on-a-stick.

The tiny East Hollywood cafe (there are about five tables total) is home to some of the most herbaceous, sinuses-clearing food in the city, and the kind of place you’ll visit for lunch - then go right back after work for dinner. Sure, you might have to eat your food pressed up against a window next to a stack of old newspapers, but that’s just part of the fun here. The sweet, vibrantly orange khao soi is among our favorite versions in LA and the spicy jackfruit salad actually makes eating a salad at lunch not feel sad. That said, no meal here is complete without at least one order of the sai oua, a spicy pork sausage that’ll stay on your mind - and lips - for the rest of the day.

Same Same is our favorite Thai restaurant in Silver Lake not named Night + Market. The menu isn’t large, but it’s filled with standout dishes like sweet and creamy khao soi, slightly sour sai kork esan, and a rich, thick panang curry that everyone at the table will ask for a bite of. But what makes this casual spot so special - and useful - is their wine situation. Same Same is just as much a wine bar as it is a Thai restaurant, with an always-rotating list of excellent American and European biodynamic wines. It’s the kind of place you can come by yourself on a quiet Wednesday night, hang at the bar, and sip unfiltered Slovenian wine in peace or roll in on Friday with friends and power through bottles of chilled Gamay like its alkaline water. Another plus is they don’t take reservations, making it a great option if you forgot that it was your turn to plan date night and everywhere else is booked up.

Local

Boran Thai Restaurant is located at 5401 Hollywood Blvd just down the block and across for from the Western Metro stop. This used to be the old Hoy Ka Noodle shop and the inside feels very similar. The focus here is on affordable and tasty Thai food – not cooked to American taste. Delicious boat noodle soup. For a small restaurant they have an excellent choice of items ranging from Thai soups, salads, vegetarian options, curries and plenty of noodle options. Seating is somewhat limited – its in a narrow space. For spicy food lovers, there are plenty of options to choose from. For those who don’t want their food to spicy, there are plenty of options for you to! The Thai Ice Tea is served in a Mason Jar. Free WiFi. Takeout and local delivery also available. Phone: (323) 469-8883 or visit: www.boranthai.com .

Dixie Hollywood is our go to hotel when staying in Thai Town. It is a half a block walk to the Hollywood & Western metro stop on the Red Line and is located within a short walk of many of the local Thai establishments. Location: 5410 Hollywood Blvd. The rooms are clean and comfortable and fairly modern. A flatscreen and a refrigerator are included in each room. We recommend staying on the second story rather than staying on the first floor as the sound proofing between the first and second floor isn’t that great. There is a small pool on site and also a small cafe. Wifi is included and works well.

LA Commons, a nonprofit organization that promotes neighborhoods through art and culture, has started walking tours through the area. One of its projects features Thai Town as one of the most interesting cultural destinations in their “Trekking Los Angeles: Local Adventures in a Global City” guidebook. This project gives visitors and locals the chance to experience the city’s diversity while supporting local economies in places where culture is a highly valuable asset.

LA Commons, a nonprofit organization that promotes neighborhoods through art and culture, has started walking tours through the area. One of its projects features Thai Town as one of the most interesting cultural destinations in their “Trekking Los Angeles: Local Adventures in a Global City” guidebook. This project gives visitors and locals the chance to experience the city’s diversity while supporting local economies in places where culture is a highly valuable asset.

One wouldn’t expect one of the city’s best Thai restaurants to be located off Vanowen all the way up in North Hollywood, but that’s exactly what locals find at Sri Siam. With a menu that ranges from khao soi to crispy trout, it’s no wonder it has been a local go-to for over 30 years.

 

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