Best Thai Restaurant Orange County 2013 - Thai Nakorn
Even after Thai Nakorn was forced out of its original Buena Park location, then suffered a devastating fire when it moved to Garden Grove, the venerable restaurant topped our Best Of list, and this year, it does it again. There are two Thai Nakorns now—both thriving and producing the food we've always used as the benchmark at which to measure the worthiness of other Thai restaurants. It doesn't matter which one you go to, either Garden Grove or Stanton; the two kitchens are more or less in sync, as though the chefs were linked telepathically to produce the same exacting dishes. Close your eyes, put your finger anywhere on the menu, and wherever it lands, the plate will be astounding. The list of Issan dishes should be where you spend most of your time, but even the familiar staples are excellent: the sticky-sweet mee krob tickles the nostrils with orange zest; the stir-fry of watercress harbors garlic and chiles; the larb pierces with ginger. And if you've ever doubted that food can soothe the soul, try the chicken curry. Paired with rice, it's a natural antidepressant. All hail Thai Nakorn, the twin kings of OC Thai food!