Why We Picked Him: The Sunset Strip is quite possibly the last place we’d look for hyper-regional Thai street food. Yenbamroong took everything he learned as a teen growing up in Bangkok and at his family’s West Hollywood restaurant, Talesai, combined that with the gritty flair he picked up at NYU film school, and opened an edgy Thai café in West Hollywood. Fermented pork sausage, catfish “tamales” wrapped in banana leaf, the “Thai style” dose of chilis and three-liter Chang beer “towers” straight off Khao San Road—we love it all. Getting Real: “Authenticity is important to me only because a dish usually tastes best when it’s most authentic. Thais wouldn’t differentiate this as street food. The more accurate way to explain my menu would be to call it regional Thai specialties. The people in these regions would never call this street food—it’s just, you know, food.” » 9041 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, night marketla.com.
Photograph by Andrea Bricco