Chiang Mai

This tiny Thai hidey-hole on Hawthorne is one of my favorite cold weather destinations, especially when I’m craving a quick soup fix–my go-tos are the Gang Hung Lay, a hot and heady concoction of tender slow-cooked pork, pork belly, pineapple and garlic in a northern-style curry, and the Palo Moo–more tender slow-cooked pork and pork belly with chunks of fried tofu, shiitake mushrooms and boiled egg in a rich herbal broth. Hmm…I’m seeing a pattern here.

And for dessert, if it’s on the specials board, you must try the kabocha squash–it’s filled with coconut milk custard, baked until the creamy custard has molded to the fork-tender squash, then sliced into visually-arresting strips, set in a pool of sweet coconut sauce and sprinkled with candied coconut.


Cuisine: Thai

Executive Chef: Tanasapamon Rohman

Owner: Tanasapamon Rohman

Atmosphere: Tiny, sweet, cozy, busy neighborhood Thai bistro run by the sweetest people ever and frequented by a mellow local crowd

Outdoor seating: Sidewalk tables

Best Seat: They're all fine

Noise Level: Normal to Boisterous

Dress Code: Casual

Bring the Kids: Yes

Bathrooms: Back of the restaurant, far left

Parking: Street parking is free and easy to find

Cocktails: No

Beer: Four local drafts ($4-$4.50), three bottled ($3.50-$4)

Wine: Brief selection of red and whites by the glass ($6-$7.50) and bottle ($22-$28)

Teetotalers: Fresh coconut juice, mango, lychee & tamarind Juices, sodas

Coffee: Thai iced coffee, hot coffee

Tea: 10 kinds of hot tea, Thai iced tea, regular iced tea

Ideal Meal: Salad rolls, curry and potato-stuffed roti, Gang Hung Lay, seafood curry, coconut custard-filled kabocha squash

Vegetarian Friendly: Yes

Good for the following occasions: Lunch With Friends, Casual Date Night, Khao Soi Gai With The Kids, Noodle Night

Reservations: No

Take-Out: Yes

Delivery: No