8.2
LA

Sri Siam Cafe

Perfect For: Casual Weeknight Dinner Cheap Eats Classic Establishment
8.2
LA

Sri Siam Cafe

Perfect For: Casual Weeknight Dinner Cheap Eats Classic Establishment
PHOTOS: Jakob Layman

There’s an insane amount of great Thai food in LA. So when you hear about a new spot, your first question probably isn’t whether they have good food. Your question is whether the food’s better than your favorite spot around the corner from your apartment. And when it comes to Sri Siam, a seemingly random family-run joint in a strip mall off the highway in North Hollywood, that answer is, unequivocally, yes. And it’s time to get in your car and go try it right now.

We say seemingly random because Sri Siam is, in fact, not random at all. Operating in the same space since 1984, Sri Siam has been serving classic Thai dishes long before they became a staple in your Thai feast. That crispy rice salad you love so much at Night+Market? Sri Siam has been doing it for decades. Papaya salad, crispy trout, boat noodles, and even Khao Soi, the curry noodle glory soup, weren’t yet mainstream dishes in LA when Sri Siam starting cooking them. Of course, all of this would be merely fun facts if the food wasn’t as phenomenal as it is.

Jakob Layman

Any meal at Sri Siam starts with the crispy rice salad - it’s a non-negotiable. If that massive plate of rice hits the table and isn’t gone within five minutes, you clearly have a level of restraint we’ve never known. Crunchy, salty, spicy, sort of sweet, with accompanying leaves of lettuce to scoop it all into your mouth - it’s pretty much perfect. There’s also the khao soi, the panang curry, the spicy chicken wings, and that crispy trout. All are tremendous and should be ordered. However, the best thing here isn’t even on the menu. Ask the waitstaff for the radish cakes and out will come a beautiful heap of fried radishes mixed with scrambled eggs and crispy bean sprouts and all will be right in the world.

As far as the actual vibe inside goes, Sri Siam is everything you want out of a Thai joint in a North Hollywood strip mall - undecorated beige walls, flowered dining chairs plucked right from 1985, and Wheel Of Fortune seemingly playing on loop on a tiny TV in the corner. To be clear, this spot will forever be about the food. But to not have to worry about snagging a reservation or dressing to impress to have some of the best Thai food in the city is a sweet relief. This is a restaurant you go to simply because you love great Thai food and are willing to drive passed that spot around the corner from your apartment to get it.

Food Rundown

Crispy Rice Salad

An original, a classic, and something you need in your life immediately. Don’t even come here if you don’t plan on ordering this.

Jakob Layman
Radish Cakes

If you look on the menu for these babies, you won’t find them. But ask your waitress for them, and they’ll happily cook up a batch. Deep fried to perfection and mixed in with scrambled eggs, this is actually the best thing served at Sri Siam.

Jakob Layman
Panang Curry

Definitely the best of their curries and a must for the table. When they say spicy here, they mean spicy.

Jakob Layman
Pad Prik King Chicken Wings

You’re going to have your hands full with those radish cakes and the crispy rice salad for appetizers, but if you have any more room, get these wings. They’re salty and sweet and a good option if you need a break from the spice in the other dishes.

Jakob Layman
Khao Soi

Curry broth with noodles mixed in. We’ve said once and we’ll say it again - always order the khao soi.

Jakob Layman
Pad Se Ew

If there was one dish we would pass on, it’d be this. It’s not terrible by any means, we just wish there was a bit more sauce and flavor.

Jakob Layman
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