“Aharn glam lao” – a fiery, piquant and sociable style of cuisine principally from the Isaan region and other areas in northern Thailand – roughly translates to “food to facilitate drinking”. It represents a culture in which, when it comes to food, the drinking comes first. As such – the cocktails, beers and modern wines selected by the new wave of top regional Thai restaurants in LA, London, Bangkok and New York have to be as well thought out as the spiced meats and salads. To get a taste for aharn glam lao, we spoke to the owners of three of the world’s most innovative regional Thai restaurants, and asked them for their top dish (and drink) recommendations.
Regarded as one of LA’s coolest chefs (check out @ntmrkt on Instagram), Mr Yenbamroong runs arguably one of the hippest restaurants in the city. Fans of Night + Market on Sunset Boulevard include LA Times critic Mr Jonathan Gold, Ms Lena Dunham, Mr David Chang, Mr René Redzepi and Questlove. Six years ago, against the odds and after “running his family restaurant into the ground”, he opened a site “equally as a place to go drink as well as eat – with a big wine focus”. Even now, and on the verge of his third opening, Mr Yenbamroong jokes that “Night + Market is a wine bar disguised as a Thai restaurant”. Albeit one that is considered the best in LA.