For Thai food in-town I most often go to S&I, Thai North, Cha Yen, and Rod Dee (in Porter). S&I is probably the one I hit most often as it plays well with frequent dining companions. Favorites there are the pad ka pow moo krob , duck larb, and kai look kaey. The spicy eggplant with ground pork is good too. Sometime I need to try the thousand year eggs.
Thai North might be my favorite area Thai overall; if it were easier for us to get to I’d go a lot more often. Their khao soi is my local standard. They also make a great duck larb and a killer gaeng hang ley. The mieng kum and mango sticky rice are must-order bookends for our meals there. Other Northern specialties have been good bets when we want to branch out.
Cha Yen offers excellent pork and mushroom larbs though we sometimes have trouble getting them spicy enough. I’m also fond of their yaki soba (with duck). Their brisket khao soi is a friend’s favorite; it’s good but I prefer poultry in that dish. The quail egg and corn cake apps are also great there.
Rod Dee in Porter has some tasty stealth options in the mostly-Americanized menu; the specials high up on the wall are worth checking out. The khao soi (with duck) has been excellent and their sai oua packs a good spice punch; we usually get it with an order of chive dumplings as a foil. They’ll make duck larb on request and we like their kao moo dang. The pineapple-basil smoothies are a nice change from our usual Thai iced tea.
In past they’ve sometimes made me nam kao tod, a spicy Laotian sour sausage and roasted rice dish I haven’t found elsewhere in the area. Haven’t tried to order it lately because of dining companion constraints.
Khao Hom doesn’t have all those dishes but I like that I can get several of them in one local place.