Ruen Pair - Thai Comforts

Just about everyone has been to Ruen Pair before, but there might as well be a central thread for it no?

Panang Curry w/ Fried Tofu

I arrived to my friend already tucking into panang with fried tofu. They nail the tofu making it a bit chewy, a bit crispy, and perfect for soaking in the curry. The nuttiness, slight sweetness and savor of Ruen Pair’s panang has always been my favorite rendition of the dish in Thai town, bested only by the absurdist tendon version at Night + Market.

Spicy Raw Shrimp Salad

Made Thai spicy this is a beautiful, beautiful salad. The shrimp gets cooked slightly as in a great augachile and yields a creamy texture that is still toothsome set against the crisp cabbage and intensely acidic bite of the chile sauce. A truly wondrous example of textural contrasts and flavors as well as heat that makes Thai cuisine one of my favorites. To be able to get a raw seafood dish this good at 2 am is just remarkable.

Pork Jerky

Ruen Pair’s pork jerky is crispier than most versions around town as well as less saccharine. This makes it my favorite version that I have had since it allows the blistered pork fat to create a more savory sensation that is balanced by the heat and acid of the accompanying sauce; the effect is quite addictive.

Salty Turnip and Egg

Perhaps the most humble dish on Ruen Pair’s expansive menu, and yet also perhaps its best. Essentially a fritatta of salty turnips that are like more savory/salty papaya strands, when paired with a bit of rice and ample amounts of the tableside pepper vinegar sauce there is something transcendent in the elemental experience of crisped edges of egg, salt, funk, and acid that is unlike any other Thai dish I’ve tried.

Ah Ruen Pair…truly not somewhere that doesn’t require review, but it’s fun nonetheless. :slight_smile: It remains one of the top places in my mind that I think of when I miss LA, or think about what makes LA such a wonderful city to currently be in.


It doesn’t need a review but thanks for doing it anyway! I think this will goad me into trying some new dishes there.

Love all these dishes. My other 2 favorites here are (1) morning glory with crispy pork and (2) curried noodle (a glorious take on khao soi).

Ah yeah, I love morning glory, I was a bit drunk at this point in the night and knew I forgot to order something else!

Although I’ve not ordered it with the pork before for some reason haha

Great timing. I almost went to Ruen Pair today for the first time but was unable. Now I’ll have some guidance, which is appreciated.

I’ve also heard that the papaya salad is one of the better versions in town?

Yes the Papaya salad is very good there. I also love the raw beef salad but it sometime take convincing my dining partners lol

Funny, been there probably 100 times in my life and never bothered to order a papaya salad there I don’t think…

Hopefully I will return soon again.

If you want the funk and gotta have the funk, the raw crab papaya salad is pure funk.

Speaking of papaya salad check this gangsta ass papaya salad song


I hit up Ruen Pair again and forgot the papaya salad, and pictures, but I ordered the Chinese Olives and Pork for the first time, and holy shit is that a fucking amazing dish. I have no concept of what I am eating exactly, but it’s like a tangy fried meat granola conglomeration that is somehow pure magic.

Basically ordered classics out than that. Those clams in spicy mild mint sauce remain as great a deal as ever as well as the comforts of morning glory, raw spicy shrimp, salty egg and turnip, panag, etc… I need to start exploring some soups, and whole fish preps from some other tables beside us tonight, though.

The former Chow-Pup agrees, and regards their Somtum about as highly as anyone’s in town. It’s often our first stop on the way back from the airport when he comes to town. (He tends to order it at levels of heat that allow me to try only about a teaspoon’s worth, with a fistful of sticky rice, and which his mother, The Woman In The Hat, won’t touch). Their non-tongue-searingly-hot dishes are pretty damn good too. Just remember, they don’t take credit cards, so hit that ATM on the way.

I love that place, and hitting up the Thai dessert place across the parking lot and then getting my frozen stink beans at the grocery next to them!

It has been a long time for us. Need to go back to this spot based on this thread alone. This is some intel that cannot go ignored.

Same here. My one and only visit was less than stellar, but I ordered nothing that has been mentioned in this thread.

Same here. I’m going to call them and ask if I can bring in beer, and if they say no I’m coming in with my own kosher “coffee” mugs.

they do sell beer at Ruen Pair I believe? Although I’ve only been a few times before 1 am

Is that what Singha is called now?


lol, I believe they also have Chang

Stopped in yesterday for a lil lunch. It’s tough going solo, knowing you can only have so much. I decided to keep it light and had the Morning Glory with Crispy Pork Belly and the Salt Turnip & Egg. Both were taster’s choice, fur sure. The pork belly was perfectly crispy and the dipping sauce it comes with added a nice punch.

There is much more that I wanted to try, and I will. Oh, yes, I will.


I cannot recall seeing the Chowpup as close to tears as an adult as on the late Sunday night when we finished at Ruen Pair and crossed the parking lot only to find that the dessert place was COMPLETELY OUT of pandan custard…

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This place continues to be excellent. We ordered papaya salad with dried shrimp, med spicy. Had more chilis than you will find at other places but the heat level was still just right for me. The BBQ pork with their tangy and spicy dipping sauce is so great with rice. Also had the broccoli with crispy pork and pad see ew with chicken. Everything was delicious. Even though they were super busy, service was prompt and friendly.