>> (Amphai) Northern Thai Food Club | Eat the World Los Angeles

Saturday 26 January 2019

(Amphai) Northern Thai Food Club


EDITOR'S NOTE: An updated version of this article (06 December 2023) is available as part of the Historical section of our Substack page. Check that out here:
[COVID-19 UPDATE NOV 2020: While this review was written in January 2019, things of course have changed recently. The restaurant has set up four tables under a square tent in front of the shop for patrons that prefer to eat immediately, which is actually more space than they used to have. Most of their business remains pickup and takeout.]

For the longest time, the corner unit of this tight corner strip mall was occupied by Windsor Donuts, which eventually left and made way for what seemed like it would be Pa-Ord Express, a fast food version of the long-standing Pa-Ord Noodle which we all know and love. This lasted around a year or less, and just two months ago a new mother and daughter duo from Chiang Rai have popped up to open Northern Thai Food. The "club" was left off the English name, but since it is in there in Thai, it deserves its due.

Many unique dishes do not show up on other menus around town.
A selection of takeout in 2020.

The cuisine in the north of Thailand uses unique ingredients like any region, and a quick perusal of the picture menu in the window revealed a lot of good dishes native to Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai that are not seen very often. This seems to be the main goal of the women, who are dedicated to making traditional northern dishes. In fact, dishes like jor pak pung, a northern style curry with Ceylon spinach (pak pung) have probably not shown up anywhere outside of the north of Thailand. Unfortunately this was not available on a recent visit to talk to the owners.
The operation is tiny and has a small steam table, it appears that about eight options will be available on any given day. Everything promises to be very fresh because of high turnover, and the rotating menu is exciting. For now at least, just about everything was $6.99 or less.

Actually here to have another meal at Pa-Ord Noodle, an order of larb moo khua ($6.99, above), northern-style stir-fried minced pork with spices and herbs could not be resisted. It also uses pork blood, which makes for the deeper color. It is great, and so different from Isan or Lao versions you know and love.
Don't forget the sticky rice, which is almost as important in the north as it is in Laos, and more importantly goes so wonderfully with dishes like this larb.


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