Prologue: this post originiated prior to Nov 9, 2010 but was never completed. After pounding the broken asphalt of a few Thailand towns, I “feel” like I have a better understanding of Pailin’s game. No claims of David Thompson-esque understanding of Thai food are being made here, though during those days in Thailand, my mind was proverbially blown over and over. The impressions made by the markets in both Ubon and Chiang Mai were so intoxicating I have yet to taste any Thai food since landing in LAX on Dec 9th. (I’m striking the recent meal at Wat Dong Moon Lek Noodle off the record — the place is a farce and an insult to every noodle shanty in Thailand.)

Chiang Mai Kad Luang's busiest nam prik noom stand

Chiang Mai Kad Luang Market’s busiest nam prik noom stand. Yup, you can get both the forced meat and the green stuff at Pailin:

Pailin Thai Town nam prik noom

Pailin is real.

While thousands of diners may have combed through various items in the Issan menu (FWIW, chef’s wife is actually from the Northern Thailand, not from the North East), few bother to explorer the brief “Thai menu” near the kitchen window. How do I know? The Thai menu hardly changes, yet the kitchen repertoire runs deep. If you ask it, they will cook.

Pailin Thai Menu Board

Some of the items you’ll find on the whiteboard (translated based on above board, does sometime rotate, but very slloooowly):

1. Fried larp balls

Pailin fried larp muu balls


Larp is a poor man’s tartare. In Issan, all forms of larp (mostly pork) are eaten with balls of sticky rice. Larp sold in morning markets is often purchased for dinner. Thais apparently have safer meat source than Americans because larp is nothing but lime cooked animal protein. Here at Pailin, larp is formed into misshaped balls and flashed fried into a dish of new nuances. Nowhere else will you find these Northern Thai dish in Los Angeles (though the natives do not actually seem to cook these in actual ball form). These balls offer multi-texture, multi flavor meaty goodness that is found nowhere else in the city of Los Angeles. Yes, that is a challenge – find more sophisticated, yet rustic, edible balls in LA. Does not exist.

2. hoy jiao.. Dried pork wrap w/ tofu

3. soft shell crab, curry garlic,

4. fried sour pork ribs, nam see krong. Fermented for 3 days:

Pailin naam si krong  sour fried pork ribs


This is 1 of my favorite Issan dishes & can be used as a benchmark. Excellent chew, not too sour, but deeply flavorful. It’s wet aged pork. Unlike other shops in LA, no souring agent is used. The pork is fermented for at least 3 days & they often do run out. Look for this and be slightly shocked by pork gone bad, on purpose.

Other highlights oft missed:

hanformed fishball Issan “kang” (wet non-coconut milk curry) with Thai eggplant tastes some kind of exotic, fried chitlin (below right), soop nor mai (Issan bamboo salad topped with ground roasted rice) – here a recipe found at Morsels & Musings, a very pleasant khao kluk kapi (shrimp pasted fried rice) which can serve as a whole meal in of itself, and the all important Issan sausage (sai krok Issan seen below left). Here it’s hand stuffed, and not from LAX-C. How many Thai joints are still stuffing their own sour sausages with fermented rice in LA? No need to use more than 1 hand for the count.

Pailin Issan Sausage Sai Krok Issan Pailin fried chitlin pig intestine

Despite the housemade goodness, Pailin hasn’t raised prices faster than the pace of inflation. Food here is cheap, because the Thais demand this. Yet dishes are portioned well (more Udon, less Texas) with no short cuts, service is homely, speed brisk. This place can do no wrong with its continuous lunch to dinner hours and BYOB. This is easily one of the best Thai restaurants in LA.

NB: some of those reading will be lucky enough to sample Pailin’s Issan/Northern items on an upcoming Sunday. Yay for you!

Pailin Thai

5621 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 467-6775
Mon-Sat 11am-10pm
Pailin Thai in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

Comments

comments


Subscribe to comments Comment | Trackback |
Post Tags:

Browse Timeline


  • http://twitter.com/maian maian

    went based on your rec and LOVED the noodle soups. i will have to return and try these other tasty delights as well, hopefully they’ll be playing starship troopers again on the tiny TV in the corner. and I didn’t know it was BYOB! duly noted.

  • http://twitter.com/redsoupcan R. Aizan Sasayama

    what? sunday? can i go?

  • Pingback: Stuff I Didn't Eat, Drink, or Suck, in 2011. | sinosoul.com()

  • Pingback: Must See: Lanna Food website by Chiang Mai Uni, Exploring China: A Culinary Adventure | sinosoul.com()

  • http://www.SeoOptimizedRankings.com/ seo

    Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. Seo Plugin



© Copyright 2008 sinosoul.com . Thanks for visiting!