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Spice Up Your Life With The First Annual Thai Food Festival

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Photo by VeganLazySmurf on Flickr
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L.A. is known for having the largest population of immigrants outside their mother land for many nationalities, and it's no surprise that our rich culinary diversity reflects this awesome influx of international flavor.

Thai Town in Hollywood is one of these examples. It's estimated that 80,000 Thai expats live here in L.A., making it the largest Thai community outside Thailand. In fact, the Thai government actually considers Los Angeles the 77th province of Thailand. And they plan on celebrating that next weekend with the first official Thai Food Festival.

Organized by the Thai Trade Center in Los Angeles and its presenting partners, the festival will take place at the historic Paramount Pictures Studios from 3:30 - 6 p.m. The goal of the festival is to expose eager eaters to lesser known Thai dishes, so don't come into this expecting tons of phad thai and green curry. There'll also be some unique fusion-y twists, like shrimp donuts with a sweet sauce from Lucky Elephant in San Dimas.

Chefs that'll be in attendance include Thai Culinary Ambassador Jet Tila, Evan Kleiman of KCRW’s “Good Food," Susan Feniger of Street, David LeFevre from Fishing With Dynamite, Kris Yenbamroong of Night + Market, and most notably (at least for Pok Pok obsessives like us) Andy Ricker.

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Running in tandem with the event is the first ever Thai restaurant week, where 55 local restaurants will be doing a DineLA-style discount on certain dishes. (You can peep their Facebook page for more details.)

General admission ($50) for the Thai Food Festival includes access to culinary discussion panels and demonstrations with celebrity guest chefs, food and drink tastings, and live entertainment. VIP tickets ($75) provide preview admittance to the festivities at 3 p.m. alongside preferred parking. You can find out more info and purchase tickets here.

Related:

Chef Jet Tila's khao soi recipe for Songkran