When it comes to the essential components of every LA neighborhood, a few obvious things come to mind: a way-too-small Trader Joe’s, dogs with more Instagram followers than you, and Jon Hamm. Oh, and a really delicious Thai spot you can walk into for a great dinner any day of the week. Until recently, that last one was very hard to find in downtown LA. But now we have So Long, Hi.
Located at 7th Street and Grand, So Long, Hi is a giant place. There’s a colorful front dining area, a full bar, a billiards room stocked with board games, and a giant astroturfed patio in the back. Oh, and there’s a decent poke bar too. But despite its many different elements, So Long, Hi still manages to feel like a low-key, local spot. That there are extra things to keep your friends entertained is just a bonus - because you’re really there for the food. You won’t find any place downtown doing Thai classics better.
So Long, Hi’s menu isn’t exceedingly large, but it covers a lot of ground. And that’s exactly what you want when you have a bunch of people to appease. Your boring friend will get the pad thai, your friend who insists on burning off their taste buds will get the papaya salad at spice level 10, and your one friend who never stops talking about her trip to Chiang Mai three years ago will get the khao soi. And everyone will be very happy. This is authentic, crowd-pleasing Thai food with the kind of rich, soul-curing flavors you need after a long week. And if you’re reading this from your couch right now, they do have takeout and delivery, and yes, it’s very efficient.
So Long, Hi isn’t just a restaurant that fills a neighborhood need - it’s a restaurant that makes other neighborhoods jealous. At least we can all still share Jon Hamm.
How you’re starting your meal here. Warm, flaky bread accompanied by a bowl of sweet green curry for dipping.
We wish the order came with a few more than it does, but these tangy little guys are excellent. Also, prep your napkin stack. They get messy.
Not the best papaya salad in town, nor does it come naturally all that spicy. However, ask them for a spice level higher than seven and you’ll be a full-time resident at the water station.
Are there probably too many noodles and not enough curry? Sure. But that’s a problem we can live with. This is very, very delicious and everyone at the table will agree.
Also known as “crying tiger,” this is basically a plate of grilled steak and vegetables, but with a spicy dipping sauce on the side your table will be fighting over. If you’re steering clear of the carb train tonight, this is a great option.
Salty, pan-fried noodles that aren’t overly greasy. This is also a large enough portion size that you won’t get too mad when everyone starts asking for bites.