If you suffer from crippling indecision, then you're going to need to get a grip before you pass through the threshold—an unassuming glass door—of Northern Thai Food Club, a new restaurant in Los Angeles.
Because the 33-item menu won't make things easy on you. Neither will the heady fog emanating from a hulking metal steam table, crouched in the corner near the kitchen like some sort of wish-granting machine. And to complicate matters further, owner Nancy Amphai Dunne will offer you tastes of whatever you like.
Northern Thai Food Club, which opened in January 2019 in L.A.'s Thai Town, specializes in dishes from Chiang Rai, Thailand, like gaeng hang lae, a mahogany curry punctuated with chunks of braised pork belly that made its way into the region by way of Myanmar.
Unmissable, too, are the tum kha noon—a warm salad of pan-fried jackfruit, limey and pungent with curry paste and garlic, festooned with a handful of chopped herbs—and the khao soi gai, a sweeter, thicker take on the coconut milk and egg noodle curry.
"The direction of your meal," writes L.A. Times critic Bill Addison, "is best decided in a conversation with Dunne over the steam table."
Visit Northern Thai Food Club
Northern Thai Food Club
5301 Sunset Blvd #11
Los Angeles, CA 90027
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Ella Quittner is a contributing writer and the Absolute Best Tests columnist at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner. She also develops recipes for Food52, and has a soft spot for all pasta, anything spicy, and salty chocolate things.