#SINGHASTORIES: Chef Kris Yenbamroong

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“I literally grew up in my family’s restaurant, one of the first bonafide Thai restaurants in Los Angeles. We served Singha, of course, but I was never really curious to try it as a kid. It wasn’t until I moved to Thailand at 13 that it seemed appealing. I remember going to a strip club with some friends and ordering a round of Singhas. We felt like kings. That’s what Singha does, it makes you feel like a king.” – Chef Kris Yenbamroong

Kris Yenbamroong is the 33 year-old chef and owner of NIGHT + MARKET  restaurants. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Chef Kris has no formal culinary training — but grew up in his family-owned restaurant, Talesai. He attended New York University and graduated with a degree in film. If NIGHT + MARKET restaurants were to have a mission statement, it would read as follows: “We aim to make the most delicious and authentic Thai food to facilitate drinking and fun-having amongst friends.” There is a term for this in Thai: “aharn glam lao.”

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NIGHT + MARKET Weho continues the land on “best of” lists — most recently named the 24th best restaurant (out of a list of 101) in Los Angeles by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, Jonathan Gold for the Los Angeles Times. During NIGHT + MARKET’s first two years, he garnered back-to-back semifinal nods from the James Beard Foundation in the Rising Star Chef category. Within months of opening NIGHT + MARKET Song in Silver Lake (“Song” translates to “Two” in Thai), critics such a Gold and Patric Kuh of Los Angeles Magazine praised Chef Kris’ authentic cooking. “[These] unique dishes would probably seem completely natural at a market stall in Thailand with the roar of motorbikes in the background,” says Kuh, “but on Sunset Boulevard I can still love their subtle refinement. That’s not lime sharpening the angles of the pork blood and MSG luu suk; it’s fresh lemongrass.”

Culinary tastemakers such as Rene Redzepi, David Chang, and April Bloomfield have dined at NIGHT + MARKET. Celebrity fans include Gwyneth Paltrow, Lena Dunham, Daft Punk, and Questlove.

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If Kris could summarize his mission in one quote, it would be,  “I am looking to bring real ballsy and delicious Thai food to the widest audience possible. What we do is rooted in tradition but not bound by it. We are all about being inclusive and getting people excited about the culture. As for future plans? More restaurants and a cookbook coming out next year.”

Chef Kris Yenbamroong's Life on Instagram

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