Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Night + Market: exceptional pork-ilicious Thai street food

After returning from Bangkok a few months ago and experiencing some amazing street food, I was excited to check out Night + Market, the Thai restaurant specializing in street food and was opened by Chef Chris Yenbamroong, the chef-son of the owners of next door Talesai. The restaurant is located on Sunset Blvd, just down the street from Key Club and The Roxy.

The restaurant has vibrant orange colored walls, brown paper lining the tables, simple artwork, and a Woody Allen film projected on the wall.

We made it in time for happy hour which ends at 8pm (all night happy hour on Wednesday) which included small plates for around $5 and drink specials.

Pig ear with chile and garlic
I've had a lot of crispy pigs ears around town but this preparation was stir fried instead of deep fried. It still had a crunch to it but with a more gelatinous texture. I really enjoyed chewing through the pieces. The pigs ear was boldly cooked with spicy peppers, lime and basil. Lots of amazing flavors here.

Pork Toro
The fatty hog collar looked like simple pieces of meat but upon biting it, your teeth sunk into a very tender and fatty piece of meat. It almost reminded me of a very buttery kalbi. The pork toro was seasoned with BBQ flavoring and fish sauce.

Fried Pig Tail

Here's a cross section of the meat. The pigs tail was tender with chunks of fat (my favorite part!). The meat really came off the bone easily and there were quite a lot of bones which reminded me of an oxtail bone. It was a lot of fun to chew around the bones. The breading was well seasoned and was crunchy but not greasy. The sharpness of vinegar based sauce helped to cut the fattiness of the pork tail.

Prawn Satay
Four prawns were skewered and grilled. We could smell the lovely strong fishy and smokey scent. Such as simple preparation but lots of flavors here. Our favorite part was chewing up the shrimp heads just like you are supposed to do if you ate this on the street.

Nam Prik Gapi
We didn't realize that this dish was very similar to the last one. Once again, we got the prawn satay but this dish also included battered fried eggplant with a shrimp paste sauce. The eggplant was soft and paired well with the tangy sweet and spicy sauce.

Kar Moo Parlow
I love whole braised pork hock which is a familiar dish in Cantonese cuisine, except that the sauce here was on the sweeter side. The hock was slow cooked with 5 spice, dark soy sauce, and many other ingredients including pepper, sugar, lime and garlic. The pork hock was such a delight to eat with fall-off-the-bone meat, fatty sticky skin (heart attack!), and gelatinous tendon. We ate all the meat and chewed off all the tendon and cartilage, which I think is rather impressive. I also enjoyed the side of soft braised cabbage.

Pad Kee Mao
The flat noodles were fried with a spicy chile, garlic and basil sauce. Pretty standard Thai flavors which packed a punch. The pieces of short rib were fatty and really tender.

Dinner at Night + Market was really such a treat. I just love how Chef Yenbamroong utilized different parts of the pig (hock, tail, collar, ears). The food is unique, it's delicious, it's bold, and is not something you'll find at your usual Thai joint. I just cannot get over how flavorful and aromatic the food was. The prices were very reasonable too. We only touched upon the surface of the menu, and there are definitely a lot more dishes that I cannot wait to try next, but I will not be able to refrain from ordering some of the same dishes here.

Night + Market
9041 W Sunset Blvd.,
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 275-9724