4356 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles
(323) 666-5993 http://www.watdongmoonlek.com
Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
Located in a Silver Lake shopping center, Wat Dong Moon is a small joint with chalk drawings of celebrities on the walls. The food is traditional Thai cuisine; the star dishes are the noodle soups. For less than $5 you can get a small bowl of either the beef or pork wat dong moon lek noodle soup with your choice of noodles, bean sprouts, scallions and either braised pork or beef. The soup broth is rich in flavor and definitely slurp-worthy.
Vegan crispy nuggets from Charm Vegan restaurant
Neighborhood: South Pasadena
Type: Vegan Thai
711 No. K Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena
(626) 441-2484, charmvegan.com
Open 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
Eating vegan on a budget can be difficult, with restaurants often charging extra for specialty ingredients and meat substitutes, but not at Charm Vegan. Their crispy nuggets are tender pieces of soy "chicken" fried to a golden brown and served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce.
Phnom Penh Noodle Restaurant
Neighborhood: Long Beach