#29. Beef Panang at Thai Nakorn

#29. Beef Panang at Thai Nakorn
Photo by Elmo Monster... he loves his goldfish, and Thai food too!
​We are getting closer to the top dishes we think you should try, Orange County. For the complete list, see below; at the end of this countdown, our Best Of Orange County 2010 issue will hit the newsstands.

I don't have a photo. Neither does Edwin. It's one of the best dishes in Orange County, I have eaten it at least two dozen times in the last two years, and I have never once, not once, managed to take a picture of it.

Perhaps it's because I have to fight my tablemates for the large, meltingly tender, just slightly stringy (in a good way) hunks of beef that fall apart with the touch of a soup spoon; maybe it's because my hands get dirty rolling up a ball of sticky rice to dunk in the smooth, coconutty surprisingly intense curry sauce; maybe it's because I'm a greedy pig for whom food photography is eternally an afterthought.

Whatever the reason, this photo-less chef d'œuvre is on my must-order list each and every time I go to either Thai Nakorn. It is the best example of that dish I've ever eaten (sorry, Sripraphai; sorry, Lotus of Siam!) and its bargain-basement $6.99 price tag only makes it that much more attractive.

Thai Nakorn, 12532 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove; (714) 537-5011.
Thai Nakorn, 11951 Beach Blvd., Stanton; (714) 799-2031.

The rest of the list!

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#89. Midnight Al Pastor Burrito or Taco at Taqueria Tapatia
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#85. Beef Fat Fries at SideDoor
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#58. Gobi Paratha at Traditions
#57. Kibbeh at Zait & Zaatar
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#54. Anything at night at Joe's Italian Ice
#53. Salteñas at Rollie's Bakery
#52. Iskender Kabob at Doner G
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#50. Bun Rieu at Kim Huong
#49. Truffle Fries at Andrei's
#48. Monday Night Pizza Special at Pizza Shack
#47. Corn Dog at Disneyland's The Little Red Wagon
#46. Linguini with Clams at Franco's Pasta Cucina
#45. Chamoyada at Natural
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#43. Paletas at Delicias de México
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