Sunday, August 07, 2011

Night + Market (West Hollywood, CA) [2]

Night+Market at Talesai
9041 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Sun 08/07/2011, 06:45p-09:15p

Hot on the heels of Night+Market's successful participation in this year's Plate by Plate tasting benefit, Chef/Owner Kris Yenbamroong held a special Northern Thai BBQ at his Sunset Boulevard eatery's back patio. On a recent trip to Thailand, he had hauled back a trio of coconut shell-fueled sausage grills, and thus was eager to try them out.

Eddie Lin Interviews Kris Yenbamroong Kris Yenbamroong, Eddie Lin
When we arrived, Yenbamroong was being interviewed by none other than Eddie Lin of the O.G. L.A. food blog Deep End Dining.

Chris Napaamporn Cuts Sausage Thai Sausage Grill Chris Napaamporn On The Grill
sai krok isaan sai uah
With Yenbamroong occupied, cooking duties became the charge of Sous Chef Chris Napaamporn.

Night+Market BBQ Menu
The pork-centric menu was focused on two types of sausage: Sai Uah (Chieng Rai herb sausage) and Sai Krok Isan (Northeastern fermented pork sausage), both of which are made in-house. $29 got us a plate of both meats, with accompaniments, as well as three more items of our choosing. Click for a larger version.

Ubriaca LA Wine List Jill Bernheimer, Whitney Adams
Joining the barbeque was a pop-up wine bar hosted by Ubriaca LA, a new joint venture by Domaine LA's Jill Bernheimer and Brunellos Have More Fun's Whitney Adams. The duo presented a wine menu of Thai-appropriate wines (all priced at $12) that managed to stay away from the predictable pairing of Riesling. Click for a larger version.

2010 Domaine Sauvéte 2009 Domaine du Bagnol Cassis Blanc, Provence, France
Wanting to go with something very light and summer-y, we started with the 2010 Domaine Sauvéte "Méli-Mélo" Pineau d'Aunis, Loire, France, a bright, crisp, citrus-kissed rosé with a savory side, along with the 2009 Domaine du Bagnol Cassis Blanc, Provence, France, a lovely blend of 50% Marsanne/35% Clairette/15% Ugni Blanc with subtle hints of stonefruit and a slight mineral essence.

sai krok isaan / isaan sour sausage & sai uah / chiengrai herb sausage
sai krok isaan / isaan sour sausage | grilled fermented pork sausage. w/ bird eye chile, cabbage
sai uah / chiengrai herb sausage | w/ noom salsa, cucumber
With our spot on one of Night+Market's backyard benches picked out, we headed straight for the meat. Popularly known as Chiang Mai sausage, the sai ua was superb, a gritty amalgam of salty, spicy, and pork-y flavors beautifully permeated by loads of herbaceous character. The Northeastern sai krok isaan, meanwhile, could be viewed as more "challenging" with its distinct sourness. I, however, really appreciated the sausage's tanginess and how its weight was so deftly complemented by the combination of bird's eye chili, cabbage, and peanut.

moo sadoong / startled pig
moo sadoong / startled pig | slices of pork w/ mint, lemongrass, fish sauce, lime, bird eye chile
I'd be curious to learn the history behind the name "startled pig," because the moo sadoong was delicious. I loved the in-your-face presentation of lemon grass and the pungency of the nam pla here, as well as the dish's sharp prick of spice. Despite all the the fireworks going on though, the pork still remained the hero.

kor moo yang / pork toro
kor moo yang / pork toro | grilled fatty hog collar. with 'jaew' northeastern chile dip
What we have here is the fatty portion of pork collar, grilled. The "toro" showed off a supple, spring-y consistency along with a noticeable, but not overwhelming amount of fat. The heavy, rich flavor of the meat was accented nicely by a tinge of char bitterness, but the key was that jaew (a dried chile condiment with galangal), which did an admirable job in countering the considerable gravity of the pig.

moo daeng / pork ribs
moo daeng / pork ribs | over shredded cabbage w/ lime, garlic & chile
Ribs were absolutely delightful--tender and toothsome, with a delectable piggy goodness joined by an adroit touch of sweetness. I could've taken a few more of these.

nuoc mam chicken wings
nuoc mam chicken wings | fried. with rooster sauce
It's hard to go too wrong with fried chicken, and indeed, these wings did not disappoint. The bird itself was tender and succulent as expected, and I really liked the additional complexity and depth contributed by the use of nuoc mam here, as well as the bit of heat from the cock sauce.

grilled prawns
grilled prawns | don't forget to suck the guts from the head!
Prawns were grilled on the same apparatuses as the sausage, and were some of the best I've had. They were prepared simply, and thus brilliantly conveyed the sweet, saline quintessence of the crustaceans. Fantastic texture on them too, and of course, I made sure to suck out all the good stuff from the heads.

pork satay skewers
pork satay skewers | bathed in condensed milk. grilled
Up next was the ubiquitous dish of satay. Here, it conveyed a tasty porcine flavor tinged by just a hint of condensed milk sweetness, as well as a whisper of astringency from the char. The skewers alone were solid, but even better when taken together with the crisp, bright flavors of the accompanying veggies.

2010 Lemasson R10, Loire, France 2009 Domaine La Grange Tiphaine
For round two, we went with the 2010 Lemasson R10, Loire, France, a light, spicy red with a marked minerality, as well as the 2009 Domaine La Grange Tiphaine "Rosa Rosé Rosam", Loire, France, an eminently quaffable sparkler loaded with juicy strawberry and cherry flavors.

gang ho / 'dry' pork stew
gang ho / 'dry' pork stew | fatty delicious belly and shoulder cuts, slowly simmered with palm sugar, pickled garlic and ginger. tossed with glass noodles
At this point, we were brought out a complementary bowl of gang ho. A heavy, hearty stew, it showed off a lovely interplay of tastes and textures, with the noodles and bamboo shoots being particularly appealing. My only concern was that the pork was a touch overshadowed at times by all the flavors at play.

ice cream sandwich
ice cream sandwich | enjoyed in ghettos throughout bangkok. coconut ice cream, sweet sticky rice, condensed & evaporated milk, toasted mung beans on a sweet roll
Night+Market's signature "ice cream sandwich" is easily the best Thai dessert that I've had. The sweetness of the coconut ice cream and sticky rice, heightened by the power of condensed and evaporated milk, was just about perfect, and I appreciated the temperature contrast here as well. The roll, meanwhile, served to moderate and ground the dessert--nice!

I've been a fan of Night+Market ever since my first visit, and this BBQ just continues that trend. The food is bold and robust, yet conveys a certain finesse, and I really appreciate how the dishes are a bit different than what you typically find at Thai restaurants. I'm not sure if Chef Yenbamroong is planning any more backyard outings in the future, but even if he's not, Night+Market's definitely worth a visit nonetheless.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That pork stew looks fantastic!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 6:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Chris Hei said...

Going on Friday! Again, any suggestions?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 9:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Joanna Park said...

So sad I missed this!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Simon: And it was quite, along with most the other dishes as well.

Chris: From their latest menu (posted 8/1), I'd go with fried pig tail, nuoc mam chicken wings, sai krok isaan, sai uah, moo sadoong, bbq 'moo daeng' pork ribs, kua gling, hor ab, kao kluk gapi, kao pad pu, pad thai, and the ice cream sandwich. Of course, there are a lot of new items on there that I'd love to try as well.

Joanna: See, told ya you shoulda come!

Thursday, August 25, 2011 12:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Helper said...

I could eat 20 of those grilled prawns.

Thursday, August 25, 2011 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

I agree. They were some of the best I've had.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 1:21:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home