The Find | Thai noodles at Wat Dong Moon Lek in Silver Lake
Thai customers that flood into the light-filled Wat Dong Moon Lek café in Silver Lake first come to try its namesake dish, wat dong moon lek noodle. The treasured Bangkok classic is named for a very old Thai temple close to the hole-in-the-wall spot that has sold the specialty for decades. "People would drive for miles just to eat this," remembers Wat Dong Moon Lek owner Billy Jalanugraha, who used to frequent the shop as a youngster and has managed to acquire the recipe.
The noodle soup's intense beefy broth with a touch of garlicky sweetness becomes more compelling the more of it you eat. A sort of distant cousin to Vietnamese pho, it holds rare beef slices, braised beef, tender meatballs and slender, slightly chewy pho-style rice noodles topped with a crisp herb-vegetable garnish.