The Best Thai Restaurants In Los Angeles

From khao soi to pad see ew, Thai food in LA is unrivaled—here are our 25 favorite spots to get it.
The Best Thai Restaurants In Los Angeles image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

When it comes to Thai food, no city in America has it better than Los Angeles. After all, Southern California is home to the largest Thai population outside of Thailand and East Hollywood’s Thai Town is the only officially designated neighborhood of its kind in the country. Though the six-block area will always be the epicenter of Thai food in LA, incredible restaurants can be found in almost all corners of the city.

From party spots in West Adams to decades-old Valley landmarks, the bar for Thai food is set so high in LA, it’s overwhelming. Here are the spots to prioritize.



Thai Town

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight Dinner
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Since transitioning from street vendor to brick-and-mortar, Mai Malai serves a much bigger menu featuring crispy shrimp omelets, pad thai, and housemade Northern Thai sausage full of fragrant lemongrass. That being said, you’re still coming here for the boat noodles, which are some of the best in Los Angeles. For roughly $9, you’re served a small cup of chewy rice noodles, juicy pork meatballs, and crunchy pork rinds with an intensely sharp, spicy, and sour broth. There’s a slight offal funk swimming in this soup, too, but it's cut with fish sauce, lots of herbs, and sweet basil. Just know that when we say this soup is spicy, it ranges from mild (spicy) to Thai spicy (heart palpitations), so trust your gut.

photo credit: Heng Heng Chicken Rice

Look around in this small diner in Thai Town, and you’ll see Thai-style hainan chicken rice on every table. That’s probably why you’re at Heng Heng Chicken Rice in the first place—it’s some of LA’s best. The juicy dark meat is lightly seasoned to balance the bold garlic rice, funky chili fish sauce, and a side of chicken broth with enough white pepper to send a tickle up your nose. It’s a beautiful plate of poultry, but still second to Heng Heng’s less famous but superior crispy zaab chicken: A pile of chopped fried chicken (or fried pork belly) coated in a lime-lemongrass-fish sauce marinade that’s zippy and so deliciously punchy that we inhale the entire plate in minutes.

It’s easy to wonder if the highest-rated restaurant on our site—and a place that’s been the subject of national awards, heady think pieces, and reservation waitlists—is worth the hassle of getting in. We’re here to tell you our answer is still an unequivocal yes. And that’s because this 40-year-old restaurant in Sherman Oaks has morphed from a dependable neighborhood standby into a genre-bending destination featuring weekly chef collaborations, curated wine lists, a fancy omakase, and some of the best damn food you’ll eat in LA. Dinner here is more than just a meal—it’s an all-out experience highlighted by deep family heritage, dedication to sourcing and sustainability, and dining in the only alleyway in the Valley you’d want to be seen in after 10pm.

When people ask about the best Thai restaurant in LA for any occasion, it’s our natural reflex to blurt out Luv2Eat. This well-rounded Southern Thai spot in Hollywood simply does not miss. 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 collection of dishes that showcases the two chefs’ family recipes. The Phuket-style crab curry, for instance, when combined with the fatty crab meat lounging 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.

Located in a Fashion District food court, this takeout counter in DTLA has a menu full of Thai staples you've probably had before, like pad kee mao and gra pow, plus some you haven't (like yellow curry rigatoni). Either way, the food at Holy Basil features bright and bold flavors that make dishes here taste like you're eating them for the first time. Picking a favorite is like choosing the best Stevie Wonder song, but the tom yum soup is a must-order. Amped up with fish sauce and roasted chili jam, it starts spicy-sour, then finishes sweet like an HBO dramedy series. If you're eating on-site, expect a minimalist set of outdoor tables and stools. Or check out their second location in Atwater Village for a seafood-heavy Thai dinner.

This comically small East Hollywood spot (there are five tiny tables at most) is home to some of the most herbaceous, sinus-clearing food you'll ever have from a steam table—and despite the name, you don't even have to pay for a membership. Sure, you might have to eat your food pressed up against a window next to a stack of newspapers, but that’s just part of the fun at this Northern Thai gem. The sweet, vibrantly orange khao soi is among our favorites in LA, the chile dips with pork rinds and sticky rice are must-gets, 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.

Jitlada isn’t just the heart and soul of LA’s Thai food scene, it’s one of this city’s essential dining experiences, full stop. The Sunset Blvd. space is cramped and kitschy, and while you’ll probably spot a few celebrities, the real star of the show is Jazz, the legendary owner who still goes around to every table asking if you loved your meal. With over 400 items, the menu is objectively overwhelming, so our tip is to steer away from dishes you can find at any other Thai restaurant, and go all-in on the ones that make Jitlada an LA icon: the crispy catfish salad, coco mango salad, Dungeness crab with garlic, taepo curry, and the secret off-menu Jazz Burger.

Don’t be misled by the name: although Sapp Coffee Shop does serve caffeinated drinks, you’re here for the boat noodles. This magical soup is the stuff of legend, on par with the Loch Ness Monster or finding the perfect work/life balance. The broth is at once funky, sour, spicy, and sweet, bobbing with silky noodles, herbs, chiles, and various beef parts. We also adore their brothless, emerald-colored jade noodles (mostly because there’s a mound of duck, pork, and crab on top) and the sen chan pad pu, tamarind-spiked, stir-fried ride noodles that taste like a more pungent and flavorful cousin of pad thai. And yes, might as well get one of the creamy Thai coffees while you're here—it goes with everything.

Greetings from the most important Thai restaurant you might never have heard of. Located on the outer fringes of North Hollywood, Sri Siam has been around for more than 30 years and is considered royalty among many of the city's veteran Thai cooks. That crispy rice salad that blew your mind over at Night + Market? Sri Siam’s been doing their version since the ’80s. Also, don’t be surprised if your server (i.e., the owner) pulls up a chair next to you and starts chatting—that’s just how things are done here. The grilled beef salad, fully loaded shrimp paste fried rice, and sweet-salty chicken wings are all knock-outs, but the best thing here is the off-the-menu radish cakes. Don't leave without at least one order.

Long Beach has tons of great Thai spots, from the bare-bones Tasty Food To Go to the more upscale Thai District, but none of them are quite like Chiang Rai, a neon-hued Eastside restaurant that specializes in Northern Thai dishes. Make a beeline for anything in the “Chiang Rai Local Food” section of the menu, including fragrant sai oua sausage with a fiery green chile dip, dry-style khao soi noodles, and a sweet-salty yellow curry that comes with fried chicken and flaky roti bread for dipping. And if you decide you just want to stay home and order takeout, Chiang Rai has you covered, too—the kitchen puts as much love into delivery staples like pad thai and pineapple fried rice as they do their Northern-style beef larb.

Though it's been open for over two decades on Melrose, Prael doesn't have quite the same recognition as big-name spots in adjacent Thai Town. But that just makes us love this under-the-radar gem even more. Similar to Jitlada, Prael has a large menu that includes both Thai dishes you'll find everywhere and a bunch of Southern Thai dishes you won't. Among that latter group, go for the gang pah, an herbaceous, clear broth curry packed with bamboo and eggplant, and the kanom jeen num ya, rice noodles topped with a sweet, bright yellow fish curry. We also love the earthy, gelatinous gravy of the lard na, and the crunchy-spongy fried shrimp rolls that pop with each bite. Prael has a well-oiled takeout situation, but eating inside their charming dining room adorned with portraits of Thai royalty and Muay Thai posters is definitely worth your time.

Now with three locations across the city, Night + Market has grown over the past decade from a scrappy make-shift house party of a restaurant to a household name in LA Thai food. Our favorite things here tend to be the slightly unusual twists, like drunken noodles with thick-cut pastrami or the fried chicken sandwiches topped with papaya salad and ranch. But we’d be just as happy with the fatty grilled pork toro and crispy rice salad, too. The Weho and Silver Lake locations are fun, but if we had to pick a favorite, it’d be the slightly cramped, chaotic one in Venice that forces you to let loose over some natural wine—make sure some form of larb hits your table and you’re in for a good time.

Lacha Somtum is the Baskin-Robbins of Thai papaya salad. The menu at this blink-and-miss-it spot in the heart of Thai Town has over a dozen types of mortar-pounded som tum on the menu, tossed with things like salted crab, duck eggs, or crispy pork belly. The tangy, sometimes-searing papaya salad here is enough reason to visit, but we might love their other Northeastern Thai (Isaan) dishes even more. There’s raw shrimp dabbed with fiery chile-garlic paste, larb with bits of duck cracklings, and a pungent shrimp paste rice decorated with piles of toppings that might it look like a painter’s palette. The spice levels here get serious in a hurry, but fortunately, Lacha used to be a tea shop in a previous life, which means you can order an Ovaltine mudslide or passion fruit slushie to cool the burn.

photo credit: Jessie Clapp



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When we want a party experience in restaurant form, Farmhouse Kitchen in West Adams is the answer. This colorful, kitschy Thai spot came to LA from the Bay Area, bringing over-the-top cocktails and group-sized entrees to a space decked out with artificial plants and bright pink flowers. The menu is a mix of pumped-up Thai dishes that you won’t find anywhere else in LA. The back patio is filled with people getting "content" while chomping on dishes that are tasty as they are theatrical, like overflowing volcano cup noodles and live lobster pad thai. If it’s your first visit, get the fried chicken, panang neua (a giant short rib slathered in curry), and a few orders of deep-fried prawns for the table.

If you live in the Valley, we're preaching to the choir when we tell you that tremendous Thai doesn't only exist in East Hollywood. Case in point: Lum-Ka-Naad in Northridge. The menu is big here, but you’re can narrow it down to two sections: “Northern Cuisine” and “Southern Cuisine.” These are filled with dishes from the two regions of Thailand the owners call home, and even if you closed your eyes and ordered at random, you'd end up with something unexpected and incredible on your table. Start with the banana leaf-wrapped curried fish and spare rib kua kling from the South and work your way up to the sour tamarind soup and grilled eggplant salad in the North. Delicious food and a geography lesson? Win-win.

Ayara Thai is a neighborhood spot in Westchester that happens to be home to some of the best traditional Thai cooking outside of Thai Town. The family-run institution has been cranking out tremendous versions of classics like khao soi and pad see ew for years, and they even sell their own curry kits in case you want to make their recipes at home. It’s nearly impossible to order wrong here (get the plump kai jeaw omelet and Ayara’s toast), but the muay thai wings in particular are a sleeper hit. They're marinated for maximum flavor, fried naked, then served with a sweet-spicy sauce that takes the dish to a new level. Ayara is mostly a to-go operation, but there’s an outdoor dining shed on the sidewalk if you’re looking to have a sit-down meal.

Yes, Hoy Ka in Thai Town serves killer Thai food. The Sneaky Pork looks like any other pile of meat but bonks you over the head with char, lime, and fish sauce. The herbaceous noodle soups could stop any tantrum in its tracks. And the classic curries and wok-fried noodle dishes are the better versions of what you’ll find everywhere else. But the best thing about this place might be the fact that the vibe is so neutral it doesn’t even exist. Grab a high-top table, let your legs swing freely, and dissolve into a perfect meal.

We appreciate a restaurant that calls it like it is, and at Spicy BBQ, you’re going to eat Thai-style barbecue and it’s going to be spicy. But this six-table strip mall spot on the corner Normandie and Santa Monica does a lot more than spareribs and satay—it's also one of our favorite spots for bliss-inducing Northern Thai food. We rarely place an order here without getting the fiery jackfruit salad, savory fried larb patties, delicious chili dips, and a bowl of khao soi that is worth braving even the worst East Hollywood traffic to eat. The curried broth is so rich and gravy-like, we usually order it with silky cubes of tofu, which provide some welcome lightness.

Besides nepotism, Otus Thai Kitchen remains one of Hollywood’s best-kept secrets. The star of the show at this quaint, light-filled cafe on La Brea is the kai-kata, a breakfast set that comes with grilled baguette, fresh orange juice or Thai-style coffee, and a little metal tin layered with ground pork, sweet sausages, and two runny eggs—the perfect midday treat when you’re reminded of your outstanding parking tickets. There's a lot to love on the rest of Otus' surprisingly large menu as well, from juicy grilled pork skewers to stir-fried clams to dry-style "street noodles" topped with crispy pork belly. Oh, and did we mention they have a full-on espresso bar and a list of natural wines and sake, too?

Eating at Wat Thai’s weekend food court feels like strolling through a busy street fair, except instead of kettle corn and churros you’re here for a wide range of fantastic Thai dishes. Every weekend, the Buddhist temple hosts foods vendors in its parking lot right on the border of Sun Valley and North Hollywood. On the menu is everything from mango sticky rice and BBQ beef skewers to spicy som tum and duck noodle soup, and the most popular stalls tend to  sell out by noon. If you get excited about dining at picnic tables covered in street food, Wat Thai will give you goosebumps. Just remember that it’s cash only and you’ll need to exchange your money for $1-$2 tokens that you’ll use to order food.

You could probably drive past this tiny spot in Thai Town 100 times and miss it, but if you did, it would be a tragedy on par with the ending of Titanic. The star of the show here is undoubtedly their khao soi, which is ultra-creamy, slightly sweet, and filled with bright punches of flavor that will wow you even before you squeeze the lime over the top. Along with those signature curried noodles, we gravitate toward their fragrant Northern Thai sausage, sauce-covered spicy shrimp balls, or braised pork leg over rice—all simple, no-frills comfort foods. If you're in need of a quick, hearty lunch or just a pick-me-up after a long week, a meal in Pailin's colorful, kitschy dining room is the right prescription.

This long-running Thai Town haunt no longer stays open until 4am (they close at 11pm), but we still highly recommend coming here during non-witching hours when you’ve got one friend in the mood for drunken noodles, and another in the mood for a salted turnip omelet. Ruen Pair's menu spans from takeout classics to more obscure Thai-Chinese dishes and there's rarely a miss among them. The smell of wok-sizzled herbs and spices hits you as soon as you step inside—always a good sign—so it's not surprising our favorite dishes here tend to be stir-fried and/or deep-fried. Get the sauteed morning glory stems, the crispy catfish with basil, and an order of their sweet-spicy fried egg salad.

LA has lots of great street vendors, but few of them put on a show like Rad Na Silom. Every day from 6pm to midnight, this curbside stir-fry station outside Silom Supermarket in Thai Town turns into a half-block of folding tables and string lights, sizzling woks, and speakers blasting melodramatic Sam Smith covers (they also make an appearance at Smorgasburg on Sundays). The stir-fried noodles you’ll find here are among the best in LA, from chewy wide rice noodles smoothed in rad na gravy to a saucy-but-balanced pad thai topped with handfuls of dried shrimp, ground peanuts, and bean sprouts. Everything on their simple eight-dish menu is just $10, and if you’re here Friday through Sunday, make sure to hit the outrageously good Thai boat noodle vendor that sets up on the same block, Mae Malai.

Siam Sunset is attached to a motel that’s seen better days and is usually filled with senior citizens and the occasional Buddhist monk enjoying a bowl of noodles. It’s the Thai Town diner that time forgot—and we mean that in the most affectionate way possible. Your priority here should be the incredibly comforting Thai-Chinese breakfast dishes, which Siam Sunset does better than any place in town: fresh-fried stick doughnuts dipped in condensed milk, tofu pudding with ginger syrup, and jok, long-simmered rice porridge topped with preserved egg and bits of pork. And if you happen to roll in past noon, get the guay jub, rolled rice noodles, liver, and crispy pork in a murky five-spice broth that’s deeper than an Olympic swimming pool in terms of flavor. Cash only.

Pa Ord has opened and closed various branches around Hollywood over the years, but the original location at Sunset and Hobart still holds a place in our hearts, because that’s where you’ll find their legendary soup menu in its full glory. This is the best tom yum in town, brimming with both BBQ'd and ground pork, pork ball, liver, dried shrimp, and your choice of noodles. We like the small rice noodle, so as not to overpower the light, citrusy broth. If you aren’t in the mood for a hot bowl of soup today though, don’t worry. There’s an extensive menu filled with excellent curries, salads, and stir-fries.

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