In keeping with the Buddhist and Hindu solar calendar, the Songkran festival in Thailand celebrates New Year’s Day with the rising of Aries. A famous part of Songkran celebrations is the throwing of water. The custom originated with cleaning images of the Buddha, then soaking people in the blessed water. It has led to rather rowdy water fights in Thailand.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand is celebrating Songkran Festival/Thai New Year this week with the launch of Thai Restaurant Week in Los Angeles. Nineteen restaurants in Los Angeles will be participating by cooking a special dish or menu for the holiday. Chef Nooror Somany Steppe from the Blue Elephant Cooking School in Phuket will be in LA and is offering cooking classes during the week at the New School of Cooking. The event continues through April 17th.
Participating restaurants include Rodded, Issan Station Thai Street Food, Hae Ha Heng Thai Restaurant, Thai Paradise, Pa-ord Noodle, Thai Dishes, two of our favorites — Jitlada and Ayara Thai Cuisine as well as the esteemed Night + Market. Just in time for Songkran, Same Same will be opening on Sunset in Silver Lake on April 13th. The new neighborhood hangout is in partnership with the longtime owners of Rambutan Thai, which occupied the same location. There will be an “esoteric and playful” beer and wine list. So enjoy Songkran, but I do not recommend dousing Jazz over at Jitlada with water if you know what’s good for you.