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Recession Obsession: Thai Town's Ruen Pair

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Pig and Stuff
A Recession Obsession is, 1) a meal so great that it stays in your mind long after digestion's end, and, 2) plays nice with your sensitive wallet. Is there a better place than Los Angeles to eat a wide variety of amazing food that so happens to be inexpensive? Probably not. We're as lucky as we are well fed. We last obsessed over great Greek at Papa Cristo's, and historic junk food at Randy's Donuts. Today, we obsess...

Thai Town is priced perfectly for our sorry pocketbooks. We know this. One such standout is Ruen Pair, a restaurant LAist visited for our "Thai One On" series. It was both inexpensive and fantastic in '07, and that hasn't changed for '09. The only difference is a sharp coat of paint. Of course it's LAist's latest Recession Obsession.

Ruen Pair has seen this diner pop in for some late morning noodles, a spicy catfish lunch (pictured right,) some mid-afternoon Tom Yum soup, an early Thai curry dinner, a late dinner duck dish, and for a late night mix of most of the above. They open before lunch and close after your bedtime (3-4 a.m.) There's really not a bad time for good Thai food. The majority of the menu is $5.95 and $6.95. Spending more than you should takes some effort (or a special case of the medicinal munchies.)

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Thai Pairadise

Ruen Pair is a rare Thai restaurant which can be just as pleasing to a Thai-noob as a someone who can traverse Bangkok without a map. The Thai-noob will giggle at Duck Feet Stew or want to know how unique a Black Egg smells. The Bangkok cartographer knows these non-pad thai dishes may not be for first-timers but they're reasons to return.

The place is dynamite and it's a wonderful thing to gamble inexpensively. If you don't like a particular dish, a replacement won't put you out much, and the kitchen is pretty quick.

Like most of Los Angeles, you'll find this restaurant in a strip mall. Across the parking lot is Bhan Kanom Thai, you'll want desert here. Sticky rice and mango, panchi, Thai tacos (they're not really tacos,) and more, are all sweet, savory and cheap. Thai one on, we shall.

  • Ruen Pair Thai Town | New Hollywood Plaza | 5257 Hollywood Boulevard | Los Angeles 90027 | (323) 466-0153
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Photos by Caleb Bacon (Twitter) for LAist

What's your favorite restaurant in Thai Town? Comment Below!