Night + Market
9041 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Dining date: 8/7/11
Night + Market is a sort of annex to Talesai, which is a more upscale Thai restaurant on the Sunset Strip. Talesai has been open for decades, but Night + Market is a new concept (opened late last year) by Kris Yenbamroong, whose parents originally opened Talesai. Yenbamroong now runs both kitchens, with Night + Market being his venue to serve dishes inspired by the street food of Thailand.
We put our stomachs in the hands of the chef and allowed him to create a tasting menu for us.
chiengrai herb sausage w/ noom salsa, cucumber
isaan sour sausage grilled fermented pork sausage w/ bird eye chile, cabbage
These felt a little bit lean to me, with a predictably meaty flavor accented by some herbs. Not as ‘sour’ as I expected, which I didn’t mind.
fried pig tail
Wow, these were great. Much less gelatinous than the ones I had at The Spice Table a couple nights prior, with a perfectly crispy outside and rich, flavorful meat. Slightly sweet, really savory. There wasn’t a ton of meat on these bones, but it was delicious. I could eat a plate of these, easy.
pork toro grilled fatty hog collar with ‘jaew’ northeastern chile dip
As advertised, these were pretty fatty though slightly chewy. The porky flavor was definitely present, but I found this to be a bit overly fatty for myself.
moo sadoong ‘startled pig’ slices of pork w/ mint, lemongrass, fish sauce, lime, bird eye chile
Chunks of pork were tossed in herbs, garlic, and a rich brown sauce. Not bad, though not particularly memorable for me.
kar moo parlow whole braised pork hock skin on slow cooked with dark soy, five spice, garlic
Oh yeah. Love a big piece of meat, served on the bone. The meat was tender while the skin kept a crispy exterior. Soy and garlic flavors in the braise were definitely prominent, complementing the pork quite nicely.
whole fish (branzino) sam rod deep fried topped with ‘three-flavor’ sauce-garlic, palm sugar, chile
As much as I love a big piece of meat served bone-in, I also love a whole fish. Here, a whole branzino was fried and topped with a sweet-spicy chile sauce. Pretty tasty – the flesh was moist, and I thought the sweetness really worked well with the fried fish.
gang ho ‘dry’ pork stew fatty delicious belly and shoulder cuts, slowly simmered with palm sugar, pickled garlic and ginger, tossed with glass noodles
I found this dish to be a little disappointing, finding the flavors rather muddled and hard to distinguish. I wanted some brighter flavors in this dish.
pu pad pong karee curried crab jumbo lump crab, curry powder & onions
Next we had large chunks of crab simmered in curry. Loved the jumbo lumps of crab, but I thought the curry was slightly one-note and didn’t have the depth of flavor I typically look for in curries.
kao kluk gapi shrimp paste-seasoned rice w/ candied pork, shredded egg omelette, red onion, green mango, cilantro, bird eye chile
A number of components here, but I thought they came together. The pork was sweet, salty and crispy, while the mango added a fresh sweetness, countering the heat from the chile. The small dried shrimp added a nice textural element.
pad kee mao drunken noodles with short ribs flat noodles, chile, basil, garlic
Loved this dish. It was a rather simple drunken noodle dish, but it’s one of my favorite in Thai cuisine. The sauce was aromatic (from the thai basil) with a touch of heat…just really delicious. The short rib was done well, leaving it tender and tasty in its own right. I’ve been inspired to try to make something like this at home.
ice cream sandwich coconut ice cream, sweet sticky rice, condensed & evaporated milk, toasted mung beans on a sweet roll
I was eagerly awaiting this dessert, having heard much about it. First of all, the coconut ice cream was very good – sweet, rich and full of flavor. Instead of a cookie, the sandwich was actually supported by a sweet bread roll, lightly toasted, and topped with mung beans, milk and sweet sticky rice. Something very different for me, and a great way to end the meal.
I really enjoyed the meal at Night + Market. Sure, there were some dishes I didn’t care for, but I remember this meal for the ones I really adored (pig tails, pock hock, drunken noodles, ice cream sandwich). The prices were very reasonable too, especially given the restaurant is located on the Sunset Strip. It’s a little bit further than I’d like from me, but if I were in the area, I wouldn’t hesitate in coming back.
I can’t remember whose bright idea it was, but we progressed from this dinner to another 11 courses at Animal.