Most hardcore pad Thai / phat Thai / phad Thai in LA

From what I read, in Thailand it typically include the following ingredients, few of which seem to be in any version I’ve had in recent years:

tamarind pulp
fish sauce
palm sugar
preserved radish or turnip (hua chai po)
shrimp paste in oil (gach tôm xao dau an or tôm nâu bún riêu)
shell-on dried shrimp (kung haeng)
chile flakes
Chinese garlic chives (gao choy)
banana blossom

I know that some of those are often served on the side so you adjust it to your own liking.

you might try krua thai on sherman way out in the valley. they make
two kinds; you want the ‘house special’ one.

I think by definition pad Thai is not hardcore

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Most Thais don’t eat pad Thai every day, but it’s still popular enough that it’s an ubiquitous street food in Thailand, and they don’t make it the way people usually do here.

Pok Pok?

Had pad thai in Bangkok from some highly regarded vendor and even there it was a bit boring.

Phat Thai is supposed to be boring as a base, but amp up to however you like with easily accessible condiments.

The only phat thai specialist in LA funnily enough is Pok Pok Phat Thai, and they pretty much do it just right. All of those elements are in it except for shell-on dried shrimp I think.

Otherwise, the one at Krua Thai that has been mentioned is good. Sanamluang does a decent one as well as they have the rep for being the place for good Thai noodles (At least late night).

PPPT’s phat thai;

If you’re in OC, Brad A. Johnson did a write-up of a place in Anaheim called Suthathip (second part of article). I haven’t tried it, but it may be worth looking into…

I’ll be staying downtown, so I’d be more interested in the places he’s referring to when he says “As good as anything in Thai Town.” He likes Night+Market’s as well.

Very weird article…but interesting highlight of places.

Chinatown is adjacent to Downtown.

Night + Market’s Pad Thai is the blandest version I have ever eaten. Noodles were made very al dente, and the rice flavor was the most dominant flavor in the dish since it is vegan and has no fish sauce, dried shrimp, pork fat or eggs. It’s the complete opposite of “hardcore” pad thai, especially compared to Pok Pok Phat Thai…

Sticky Rice in the GCM has a noodle-dedicated half of the restaurant. I’ve not been oddly enough, but they might do a solid pad thai.

Fair enough. Just thought I’d throw it out there. I love Thai, but I’m about as far from an expert on it as you’ll find. Happy hunting.

Y’all should try the pad thai at Jitlada; it’s life changing.

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From eater today. It’s like they’re reading this forum or something. Oh wait…


That list doesn’t tell me much of what I’d like to know. Preserved radish? Shell-on dried shrimp? Gao choy?

The traditional sen lek noodles are 100% rice flour so no substitutions are required to make the dish gluten-free.