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L.A. Taco Guides

Ten Amazing Thai Noodle Places In L.A. That Go Beyond Pad Thai

Khao Soi at Northern Thai Food Club.

Khao Soi at Northern Thai Food Club.

The breadth and diversity of Thai noodle dishes extends far beyond your typical pad thai. Thankfully, we live in Los Angeles, home to the largest concentration of Thai people outside of Asia. Thai Town in Hollywood was the first such designated neighborhood in the U.S. 

Whether you’re looking for a warm bowl of curry-based broth or a spicy wok-tossed dish, Thai Town (and the rest of L.A) has you covered. Many of the dishes listed below can be found on menus across various Thai restaurants. Here are just a few to sample next time you’re in the mood for Thai noodles—beyond pad thai.

Khao Soi at Northern Thai Food Club.
Khao Soi at Northern Thai Food Club. Photo by Lynn Q. Yu for L.A. TACO.

Northern Thai Food Club

Khao soi is a coconut-based noodle dish with wide egg noodles. The khao soi comes with a perfectly cooked chicken drumstick at Northern Thai Food Club, topped with crispy noodles, sour mustard, shallots, and cilantro. Hit the creamy broth with a fresh squeeze of lime for a touch of brightness — few places do khao soi better. Nam ngiao, on the other hand, is a tomato-based curry broth with vermicelli noodles, served with pork ribs, blood pork cubes, and bean sprouts. Nam ngiao, which is listed at NTFC as kanom jean nam ngiew, is a specialty of the Tai Yai people of northern Thailand. While the khao soi at NTFC is a classic, the nam ngiao is worth diverting your usual lunch order for.

5301 Sunset Blvd. #11, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 2 or 207 - “Sunset/Western” or Metro B Line - "Hollywood/Western Station."

khao soi photo via Chiang Rai Thai Street Food
Khao soi. Photo via Chiang Rai Thai Street Food/Instagram.

Chiang Rai

A khao soi worthy of being recognized by the Michelin guide? This Long Beach Thai restaurant quickly grew to be one of the most desired bowls in a city full of amazing noodles. Don't be afraid of asking for your food to be spicy.

3832 E Anaheim St Long Beach, CA 90804. Closest transit lines and stop: Long Beach Transit Lines 41, 45, and 46 - "Anaheim/Mira Mar" or Long Beach Transit Line 131 - “Redondo/Anaheim.”

Pad Kee Mao at Rad Na Silom. Photo by Lynn Q. Yu for L.A. TACO.

Rad Nah Silom

Rad na is a stir-fried noodle dish consisting of wide noodles, a protein such as beef, chicken, or pork, tossed with gai lan (Chinese broccoli). Set up in front of Silom Supermarket on Hollywood Boulevard, Rad Nah Silom is a family-operated street stand specializing in its titular dish. Matriarch Rungthip Sathirathiwat can often be seen rocking an IKEA bucket hat and working the wok. A delightful plate of rad na runs for just $10. Something of a Tik Tok sensation, Rad Nah Silom, can be found on most days from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. They also just secured a spot every Sunday at Smorgasburg L.A.

5321 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Closest Metro lines and stop: Metro B Line or Bus Lines 180, 207, or 217 - “Hollywood/Western Station.”

holybasil_la
Pad kee mao. Photo via holybasil_la/Instagram.

Holy Basil DTLA

Pad see ew is a stir-fried Thai noodle dish sauteed in soy sauce with Chinese broccoli, egg, and some protein. It is not altogether dissimilar from the aforementioned rad na. Pad kee mao, often seen on Thai menus as “drunken noodles,” is the spicy version, often topped with chilies and holy basil. Holy Basil DTLA does an excellent rendition of both dishes. Pad see ew and pad kee mao can be found at most Thai restaurants alongside the universally popular pad thai, but for an exceptionally well done take on these Thai classics, head downtown for this Bangkok street food-style menu.  718 S Los Angeles St Space A, Los Angeles, CA 90014. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 33, 51, 55, or 92 - “Main/7th.”

Pastrami pad kee mao at Night + Mrkt. Photo via Instagram.

Night + Market Song

Chef Kris Yenbamroong’s traditional, contemporary style of Thai food still holds it down all these years later. It’s worth going to either of his three locations across the city to try his refreshing take on pad kee mao, made with tender and highly seasoned pastrami (brisket) instead of the usual beef strips. It’s their ode to L.A.’s delicatessen culture, as they say on their menu. Multiple locations

pad kee mao at Tasty Food to Go
Pad kee mao with beef at Tasty Food to Go. Photo by Javier Cabral for L.A. TACO.

Tasty Food to Go

This is one of Long Beach's best kept noodle secret. A house-turned-noodle shop that is beloved by long time residents for its generous portions and affordable prices. The rice noodles are always al dente and whatever you order will always be cooked to order, which explains the wait time. The take-out only restaurant is Cambodian-owned, so their fish sauce will pack even more umami and you find more vegetables like fermented bamboo in their noodles. It is cash only and if you truly can't wait, they have a few tables set up in their front yard patio.

2015 E 10th Street. Long Beach, CA. Closest transit lines and stop: Long Beach Transit Lines 21, 22, and 23 - “Cherry/10th.”

Boat noodles at Pa Ord Noodle.
Boat noodles at Pa Ord Noodle. Photo by Lynn Q. Yu for L.A. TACO.

Pa Ord Noodle

Kuai tiao ruea, more commonly known in English as boat noodles, is a soup noodle dish consisting of a dark broth seasoned with cow or pig’s blood. A saltier, heavier broth than what one would experience with a khao soi, boat noodles usually contain slices of meat and meatballs. Pa Ord Noodle, located on both Hollywood and Sunset Blvd, offers a vast assortment of Thai noodle dishes. I am particular to their pad kee mao here, but their boat noodles stand out. Pa Ord Noodle is not afraid to turn up the heat, so for culinary adventurers who like a challenge, order your noodles “spicy” here.

5301 Sunset Blvd #8, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 2 or 207 - “Sunset/Western” or Metro B Line - "Hollywood/Western Station."

5269 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Closest Metro lines and stop: Metro B Line or Bus Lines 180, 207, or 217 - “Hollywood/Western Station.”

boat noodles at Sapp Coffee Shop.
Jade noodles at Sapp Coffee Shop. Photo by Lynn Q. Yu for L.A. TACO.

Sapp Coffee Shop

Jade Noodles are green egg noodles topped with BBQ pork, roast duck, and ground peanuts. Sapp Coffee Shop, a long-time institution of LA’s Thai Town, has become particularly well known for their jade noodles and the distinctive green tint they wear. It’s arguably a perfect bowl of dry noodles. Then again, you can’t go wrong with Sapp’s take on classic boat noodles.

5183 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 180 or 217 - “Hollywood/Harvard” or Metro B Line - "Hollywood/Western Station."

Yen ta fo noodles.
Yen ta fo noodles. Photo via Ruen Pair/Instagram.

Ruen Pair

Yen ta foh is a pink soup noodle dish that derives its color from a fermented soybean paste. It often comes with fish balls, fish cake, and shrimp, and unlike boat noodles, broth usually has an almost sweet tinge to it. The yen ta foh at Thai Town’s beloved Ruen Pair arrives in a clear, pink broth with tofu and herbs to top. 5257 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 180 or 217 - “Hollywood/Harvard” or Metro B Line - "Hollywood/Western Station."

Seafood tom kah noodle soup at Noodle World's Alhambra location.
Seafood tom kah noodle soup at Noodle World's Alhambra location. Photo by Javier Cabral for L.A. TACO.

Noodle World

Noodle World’s tom kha noodle soup seems designed for those who live and die by noodle soups. If you’ve found yourself agonizing over going out for pho or Thai noodles, and your body needs that richness that can only come from coconut, then this two-in-one soup is for you. It’s chock full of fish cakes, mushrooms, tender squid, mussels, surimi, and a delightfully filling amount of rice noodles. The broth is hyper-savory and with a squeeze of lime, it’s the kind of noodle soup that can fortify your damn soul. Note: Noodle World has franchised out locations; they only offer chicken as the meat option at their Noodle World Jr. locations. Several locations. - Javier Cabral  

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