Lert Ros, Isaan food at Tha Pae gate

Our friend is over at the moment and staying in the north of the old city. We wanted to take him to somewhere that served something other than Pad Thai and green curry! For instance we’re big fans of Isaan, or Northeastern Thai food (as are many Thai’s) so we took him to try some of our favourite dishes. Lert Ros is a popular Isaan restaurant close to the Tha Pae gate (and Sunday walking street) so we headed over.

So it’s not much to look at, but then a restaurant is for eating in rather than looking at I guess! Being located where it is, all the customers were tourists, however the prices were good and comparable to Thai restaurants outside the touristy parts of town. They also offered dishes in regular or large – useful when their average customers appetite is bigger than Thai portions! The owner is found outside grilling various things, and will invite you in as soon as he sees you. I don’t think he needs to heckle really, the place was pretty full when we showed up!

Isaan Tha Pae gate

Lert Ros is famous for it’s salted, grilled red tilapia, which, ironically we didn’t have. I’ve had it before and it is delicious – however the boys weren’t feeling fish and I couldn’t possibly polish it off on my own! We ordered a variety of large dishes to sample the fare, and we were very happy indeed. We had Somtam (spicy papaya salad) Khaw Niaw (sticky Rice) Laarb (spicy minced pork salad) Grilled beef, omelette and mixed veg (in a land of meat and rice, every little helps)!

The spice was just right, salads were balanced and very more-ish. We asked for medium chilli heat and it came medium. Not kick-you-in-the-face-hot or what we call ‘tourist’ hot, where they tone it down so much that it just doesn’t taste any good at all! The grilled beef was marinated and very tender, served with a hot and sour tamarind dip. Mr’s favourite dish, laarb, was authentic down to containing complete with unidentifiable bits of pig which Mr picks out. Our friend thought they were onions. They were not, but they were tasty.

If your ever in need of good food near Tha Pae gate, I can honestly recommend this Lert Ros. A great little place tucked away in a touristy part of town! I will be back for the fish sometime soon….

lert ros restaurant

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