Renu Nakorn

E-saan, or Eastern-style Thai food, is famous for its rustic dishes with incendiary heat, and for more than two decades nobody has done it better than this recently spruced-up dive. Most dishes are to be eaten with your fingers along with mounds of sticky rice, like the sau rong hai (charred steak with a tart dipping sauce) and the koi soi (a peppery raw beef salad), both of which embody the spiciness that put this regional cuisine on the map.