When was your visit?
I would say roughly 6-8 months ago it when it really became THE restaurant in Silverlake (and beyond), the kitchen suddenly had no idea how to work at full capacity, and the quality too a nosedive for a long while. I stopped going, but just went back last week, and found that they seem to have finally tightened up.
Personally, I think you really MUST try their version of panang curry with extra roti. Also, a version of khao soi, I actually think the king oyster mushroom and tofu vegan version is the best one oddly enough.
The Isaan sausages tend to be incredible, as are the larb meatballs. I’d also give the “secret” chicken sandwich a run, or at least order some of the fried chicken with insect dip. It’s remarkably tasty.
The grilled pork toro or fatty pig neck is sensational. I’ve had it so many times I almost forgot to recommend it. Going along with that, the Startled Pig may be one of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten anywhere, but also had that way too many times to count… I can never decide between these two so always just double up on the pork haha
The bangkok mallp pasta is wonderful when they do it right…I’ve had some awful, bland versions when they were too busy, but if they are back to making it right, it’s a hell of unique thai dish with great noodles that seem more Italian in texture, and spices that are devilishly raucous.
The jungle curry can also pack a similar wallop, but have an immense depth of flavor to it when they do it right.
And order off the specials…I’ve eaten peanut butter and jelly pork rice off their specials menu before…sometimes they’re completely insane, and make for the wildest imaginable memories.
If you order half of these things, and especially if you order the panang and still hate it, then I think you can officially say that the place is just not cooking for your palette, and just ignore the rest of us haha No worries, there is tons of Thai in this town after all.
We have enough variety in this city that people can mean wildly different things when they even say “I like thai food” haha So I have no way of knowing if you would necessarily like any of the dishes I am recommending here… I like sour, spicy, sweet, salty Thai food mostly. Other people really like the more earthy, funky, pungent side of it for example (though I always got the lu suk when they offerred it), and some people like the more delicate, soft, sweet, and comforting flavors of simple thai dishes like pad se ew, pad thai, etc… (Night Market’s pad thai sucks though as far as I can tell, but their pad se ew is actually pleasant, though not particularly special compared to their other dishes).
I’m rambling now, but if I was going to order just 4 dishes at Night Market I would go and order:
Panag with extra roti
Sai Krok Isan (sour sausage)
Bangkok Mall Pasta
This would give you a fairly large range of what they are doing, from the uber fatty, sweet side to the intensely sour, to the blended meaty, herbacious, and unique pasta with funk and heat assaulting you somewhat.
Get some coconut rice to go with it all, and done deal I say.
But that’s just me.