Night + Market (2)
Despite my great dinner at Night+Market last year, I haven’t found myself back at the restaurant yet…until last Friday. To be honest, it wasn’t our first choice for dinner. Or the second. Here’s what happened: I was asking Ben if he minded driving to the Fairfax/Melrose area for dinner, using Animal as a geographical reference. But he suggested that we go to Animal outright, even though we’d promise Paul that we would go with him when he visits L.A. in early March.
So I called the restaurant around 9pm while driving in that direction, and they said that the next available seating would be at…midnight. No go. Since we were driving east on Wilshire, we passed by Red Medicine. Curious, we parked and asked how long was the wait. 45 minutes, which wasn’t too bad, but we had just played three hours of basketball and were really hungry. Only then did I think of Night+Market. I called ahead to let them know we were coming, and they were more than gracious in holding a table for us (which was good, because that ended up being the last available one).
The two of us ordered some of our favorites from the last dinner: pig tails, pork toro, pork hock, and shrimp paste-seasoned rice. All four were as delicious as we remembered it, and even more so with the pig tails, which were probably among the best things I’ve eaten in this new year. I was asking the servers if there was anything new on the regular menu that was worth trying, but it appeared that we’ve already tried most of those. So they suggested actually ordering off the DineLA menu, since all of the dishes on the menu are new stuff that Chef Kris Yembamroong came up with.
There were three courses on the DineLA menu, with two to three options for each. We chose the beef jerky, the dancing prawns (the easy choice for the second course according to the servers), and the black chicken green curry. The beef jerky was served with a hard-boiled egg sliced up, cabbage, cucumber, and nam prik ta dang (Thai chili paste that reminds me a little of X.O. sauce, but sweeter). Pretty good. But then the prawns came. They were served raw and cut similar to butterfly-style, but with the head intact. It was really good! Just fresh and full of that ocean flavor, and the acidity of the sauce was excellent. The heat definitely creeps up on you though, and we started to sweat and gulp water (and luckily the servers recognized that pretty quickly). The green curry, however, tasted a little bland, especially following the prawns. It was a solid green curry, but the flavors tasted a bit muted. And as expected, the meat of the black chicken was a bit tough.
This was another excellent dinner at Night+Market. Side notes: service was great again this time around. Everyone was attentive, courteous, and knowledgeable. We even got a scoop of the coconut ice cream on the house because Ben was sweating so much. Thanks again! Food came out at a quick pace, which was good because we were starving. And they were playing Mission:Impossible on the projector! On my way out, I saw Chef Kris standing near the exit. We chatted for a minute, and I told him that I really like what he’s doing with the menu, to which he said “then don’t be a stranger!” I definitely won’t be, Chef Kris.
Fried Pig Tail ($6)
Pork Toro ($7)
Kar Moo Parlow – Whole Braised Pork Hock ($19)
Kao Kluk Gapi – Shrimp Paste-Seasoned Rice ($13)
DineLA menu ($34):
Nam Prik Ta Daeng – Red Eye Relish: beef jerky / veggies / egg
Goong Ten – Dancing Prawns: head on / chile jam / lime juice / shallots
Kiew Wan Gai Dam – Black-Boned Chicken Curry: black-boned chicken / mortar-pounded green curry paste / pickled rhizomes
Chris Hei grade: B+
Night + Market
9041 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069