Spicy BBQ: Khao Soi & Fried Ground Pork Salad

It's Free Lunch Thursday! Welcome to another edition of the guest-critic series, "Where You're the Reviewer."

Our reviewer for this week is kcet.org commenter gabrielle323 - aka Gabrielle Pascoe - a digital strategist and occasional entrepreneur. KCET had the pleasure of treating Gabrielle to Spicy BBQ in Little Armenia.

Free Lunch Reviewer Gabrielle Pascoe.

Gabrielle is quite passionate about Thai food, having grown up eating this South Asian cuisine from a very young age. Growing up, her mother ran a small business in Glendale opposite a Thai restaurant, and, as a result, was a Thai foodie long before the cuisine came into popular vogue. As a matter of fact, she enjoys the food so much that she's traveled to Thailand and taken cooking classes there.

Spicy BBQ serves a variety of dishes, but their specialty is Northern Thai food. Gabrielle ended up ordering egg noodles in curry sauce with chicken (this particular noodle dish is called khao soi in Thailand) and fried ground pork salad with an ice tea.

Gabrielle had never tried Spicy BBQ's version of this traditional northern dish and - despite its spiciness - she simply loved it. Unbeknownst to both of us, she has chosen what Jonathan Gold has called "the definitive version of khao soi in Los Angeles, the emblematic northern-Thai dish of egg noodles in a dense, spicy chicken-coconut broth, garnished with a big handful of delicately fried egg noodles, served with diced red onions and crunchy homemade pickles." (I've included such a long excerpt because Mr. Gold does a far better job of describing this dish than I ever would!)

Khao Soi or Northern Thai Egg Noodles.

Fried Ground Pork Salad.

The heat of the khao soi was more than what Gabrielle expected, but fortunately she had a delicious Thai ice tea with which to cool down.

Thai Iced Tea.

That's it for this week's episode of Free Lunch. We'd really like to hear from you. What do you think about this week's video? Have you been to Spicy BBQ?

Please post your comments below, and by doing so you'll become eligible to participate in Free Lunch. Also, if you have some restaurant recommendations for us, please add them to this discussion.

Keep on Lunching!

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Spicy BBQ
5101 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 663-4211

Please note that Spicy BBQ is cash only.


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Spicy BBQ has not used actual coconut milk in the khao soi in years. It's such a huge no-no in terms of chicken curry noodle that no one should order this bowl.

Pailin, and I'll say this until the world ends, has a superior product, along with superior prices.


Thank you for all of the feedback (here and in other posts). We really appreciate it. Since we took Jonathan Gold at his written word, so to speak, I called Spicy BBQ to confirm whether they actually used coconut milk or not. As it turns out, they do use it in their egg noodle dish (N4 on their menu), but do not use it in their curry dish (N10).


That is excellent (and actual!) reporting Diego. My last data was from August '10 and I've been avoiding the place since long before that. Only need 1 slurp to tell the difference, so perhaps it is time for a another take.


That khao soi looks delicious. Must try.


If you happen to visit Spicy BBQ please remember to share your experience with us. Thank you.