Night Market Song Silver Lake
sum up: Straight outta Thailand, Chef Kris Yenbamroong's second Night+Market (song=two) brings his funky, fresh fare to the Eastside. Eclectic and fun, this Silver Lake spot suits Yenbamroong's Thai street food better than the OG Sunset Strip locale. Song is all about full-body spice, where your eyes water, your nose runs, and your skin sweats. Forget the master cleanse; Song rids your body of toxins while filling your belly with bomb-ass grub.
looks: Colorful would be an understatement with safety vest-orange and blue walls, floral, technicolor tablecloths, and the Pepto-pink exterior. The jangle of the plastic bead curtains are reminiscent of a dorm room, as is the topless Cindy Crawford poster. Festive and bright, the decor is as unabashed as the food.
ambiance: Smack dab in Hipsterville, Song draws a crowd of cool kids, foodies, and Chef Kris fanatics. At this casual joint, eating with your hands is encouraged. Friendly waiters will happily navigate you through the quirky menu, taking the helpful extra step to warn us when we over-order (which we foolishly ignore...yay leftovers!)
hot tip: Make like I do and work up your appetite on the dance floor at the Sweat Spot across the street.
Song just got approved to serve beer and wine! On my visit, booze was still forbidden, so we drank Thai sodas to temper our spicy meal. Both the Hale's Blue Boy Sala and the Houston Cowboy Cream are so sugary they'd make Lucky Charms as healthy as Grape Nuts. For sweet tooths only.
The complimentary shrimp chips come with chili dipping sauce. Like their American cousins, Munchos, I could down a whole bag of these salty snacks.
The Sai Uah (Chien Rai Herb Sausage) lives up to its name with each bite bursting with fresh cilantro and lemongrass. Served with tasty nam prik noom (a chili, cilantro garlic sauce) and cucumber, it is one of the more milder items on the menu.
One of Chef Kris' signature dishes, the Hor Ab (Catfish Tamale) is a succulent blend of catfish and pork fat baked in a banana leaf. Like gefilte fish, the fish cake of the Jews, this tastes better than it looks. Another non-spicy choice, this tamale teems with pungent flavor.
Not to play favorites, but this Nam Khao Tod (Crispy Rice Salad) is one of our most revered dishes. The combo of rice, cilantro, sour pork, raw ginger, onion, chiles, and peanuts create a tantalizing mix of crunchy, tangy, fresh, and oh-so-spicy.
Beneath this basil, arugula, and shredded cabbage salad lies a scrumptious surprise. Larb Tod (fried larb meatballs) are a trifecta of pork, pork liver, and pork blood. Just to ensure you cover all your porcine bases, pork cracklins' top these piggy treats.
A bowl of comfort, the Khao Soi Jay (Curry Rice Noodles) comes crammed with tofu, king oyster mushrooms, sprouts, cabbage, red onion, cilantro, lime, and chili paste. It is just as delicious for leftover lunch the next day.