Crenshaw Boulevard, Skid Row, South Vermont: these are places we Angelenos associate with the term “street.” Night + Market’s location on Sunset? Perhaps slightly “street” when Little Wayne is performing down the strip at the Roxy, but even then… not exactly. While the address of the restaurant is somewhat contradictory to its street food concept, I’ll let it slide—Night + Market’s flavors are better fitting for a Thai palace than our pot-holed LA roads anyway.
Step into Night + Market and you get a sense of authenticity right off the bat. With walls full of a mishmash of framed artwork, Thai album covers, sporadic neon signs and a Buddhist homage to one’s ancestors, one could easily forget they’re in West Hollywood. Well, if they didn’t notice the communal tables. Or the ever-so popular Mason jar glasses. Oh, or the mixologist-approved drink list. And once you notice the list, trust me when I say, the Mekong Old-Fashioned with a splash of lychee juice makes the perfect aperitif. In terms of flavor, this is just the beginning…
After a single sip of that drink, I put myself in Chef Kris Yenbamroong’s hands. So when it said the papaya salad “should be enjoyed with sticky or coconut rice” on the menu, I had to oblige. The curried crab and crab fried rice, I swear was made with ingredients straight from Krabi. And the pad thai? Had the perfect amount of spice and tasted like the Thai noodle we all know and love, yet was somehow better than any other—could the dried shrimp have made it that good? Foolishly stuffing myself with their generous portions, I saved no room for dessert, but I have no doubt that the ice cream sandwich would have been mind blowing. Because hell, even the beef grapow sounded mind blowing and I don’t even eat meat.
I can’t quite put my tongue on it, but Night + Market really is the freshest tasting, most flavorful, yet authentically done Thai food sans MSG I’ve ever had… well, ever. But be warned: mentally prepare to wait a bit, as everything takes a bit longer than you’d expect. And the bill you’ll receive in the end is much, much greater than any you’ve paid in Thaitown. Your belly will un-regretfully know exactly why.