99 Essential Restaurants 2014

Night + Market

photo by Anne Fishbein

Talk to any 10 food obsessives in L.A. and approximately eight of them are likely to name Night + Market as their favorite restaurant. This goes for chefs and civilians, culinary explorers and trend followers alike. Chef Kris Yenbamroong presents the unadulterated flavors of Northern Thailand in a stylishly stripped-down room next to his parents’ Sunset Strip restaurant. The whole thing feels kind of like a fluke, or a high school project titled “restaurant” — until you get to the food, which is bold, complex, spicy and completely addictive. You’ll find yourself wolfing down sticky pig’s tails, tongue-singing larb, funky fermented pork sausage, or a hulking whole braised pork hock in aromatic juices. Yenbamroong is about to open his second outpost in Silver Lake, which promises to be a slightly different beast, though no less exciting. In fact, the Night + Market story, as well as its food, is one of the best examples of why eating in L.A. right now is nothing short of thrilling.

-- Besha Rodell