Sunday, April 06, 2014

Night + Market Song Spices Up Silver Lake

beaded curtains and flowered tablecloths at Night + Market Song

Night + Market Song is the second outpost (Song means two) from chef/owner Kris Yembamroong, who about five years ago started adding spicier and more authentic northern and Isaan Thai street food dishes, first at his parents' Talesai on the Sunset Strip and then at his own Night + Market next door. The Strip was always sort of an odd place for such an interesting restaurant, so it makes sense that Yembamroong has finally come east, opening Night + Market Song in a small Sunset Blvd. storefront just east of Sunset Junction.
Open just two weeks, Song is still in somewhat of a soft opening stage, so there's no beer or wine yet, and when we went, it was cash only. Also, check the website, as the restaurant will close to be at Coachella both weekends.
crispy rice salad (nam khao tod)
The room: Much funkier and louder than its Sunset Strip cousin, Song is meant to look like a cafe you'd stumble on in Bangkok, with a bright pink exterior, folding wooden chairs, flowered oilcloth table coverings, kitschy posters on the wall and bright fluorescent lights. It's a fun room but not the place for a leisurely talkative dinner with friends.
Thai sour sausage
The pros: All three dishes we tried were total mouth fiestas. Isaan sour sausage was the highlight, and the tender, juicy balls of pork had the slightly fermented flavor that makes Thai sausage so wonderfully different. Crispy rice salad is one of the best in the city, bursting with ginger, peanuts, cilantro and chile with just the right amount of burn. Chinese broccoli rose above the usual version with a hefty dose of garlic and chili, making it actually the spiciest of the dishes we tasted. I'm also looking forward to trying the market pad thai, chicken larb and startled pig, to name just a few.

The cons: I get that this is really good Thai food, featuring some unusual dishes that aren't that common even in Thai town. But nearly $60 for a smallish dinner for two with just water to drink seems a high price indeed, especially with the cash only policy. Also, there's no reservations, no takeout or delivery, no BYOB, few substitutions and just a few vegetarian dishes.
Verdict: If you're into big and authentic Thai flavors, spicy food, checking out the latest buzz spot, or pretending you're at a Bangkok hole-in-the-wall, you'll probably like Song, if you can afford it and don't mind lining up for a table.
But if you prefer cushy booths, menus with lots of different choices and spice levels, mild food for the kids, reservations or low Thai Town prices, it's probably not going to be the spot for you.

Night + Market Song
3322 W. Sunset Blvd.
Silver Lake

Night + Market Song on Urbanspoon

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