In 2010, Kris Yenbamroong set up a casual eatery next door to his parents’ West Hollywood restaurant, Talesai, and began serving bold street food inspired by Bangkok market stalls and the country roadhouses of northern Thailand. Almost immediately, Night+Market (entrées $7–$25) became the talk of the L.A. food world. Since then, Yenbamroong, 32, has opened another location, Night+Market Song in Silver Lake (entrées $7–$15), and has begun scouting locations in Venice for a third. The chef keeps his cooking fresh with yearly trips to Thailand, always visiting Mae Chan, the village in Chiang Rai province near the Burmese border where his mother grew up. Here, he shares finds from his latest trip, including shrimp paste from the south and spices from the north. “Even peppercorns,” he says. “I could buy black pepper here in America, but I want that Thai terroir in all my food.”
On a recent trip to Thailand, Kris Yenbamroong—owner of L.A.’s cult-favorite Night+Market restaurants—ate his way through the country, sampling everything from rice noodles to meat salad while stocking up on ingredients to cook with at home.