Where Can You Find Some of the Country's Best Thai Food? Smack in the Middle of L.A.

When you're on the line, regional cuisine from around the world is just a Metro stop away.
Dec 2, 2014·
Samantha Cowan is an associate editor for culture.

What's the best way to explore a vibrant city's ethnic cuisines? In Los Angeles, a team of filmmakers decided to jump on the Metro, using stops in diverse neighborhoods to dive into L.A.'s exploding food scene. In this installment of On the Line, Heirloom LA's Tara Maxey sets out to explore some of the city's Thai restaurants.

Along with consistently sunny skies and frequent celebrity sightings, Angelenos also have access to some of the most authentic Thai cuisine America has to offer. Six blocks of Hollywood Boulevard are peppered with family-owned Thai restaurants boasting authentic ingredients and balanced flavors.

Maxey meets up with Food Network chef and Thai cooking expert Jet Tila to begin her journey. Tila, a third-generation child of Thai immigrants, combines the foods of his upbringing with classical French culinary training at his restaurant Stir Market. You'll find an array of cuisines on the menu, but Tila is deeply devoted to Thai flavors. “Thai people are masters of blending hot, sour, salty, and sweet,” he says.

Roughly six miles separate Stir Market from the city's Thai Town, and a quick trip on the Metro leads the duo to Tila's favorite local spot, Ruen Pair.

The family-owned restaurant has gained an avid following by bringing traditional recipes to the States. Here Maxey learns about traditional Thai culture and cuisine, from a proper greeting to the importance of dried shrimp in creating the food's signature umami flavor.

While the cameras stop rolling in Thai Town, the eating continues as Maxey and Tila hop on the Metro for a culinary adventure in Chinatown.