Meditation on Night + Market’s Larb Gai


By on May 10th, 2019 in Photo & Video

Meditation on Night + Market’s Larb Gai

“For True Larb, I Will Sacrifice” is painted above a mural of hands clasped in prayer, like some religious mantra. And for the uninitiated, trying Night + Market’s Larb Gai for the first time is spiritual. Bead curtains at every window color the sunlight, as stained glass in a chapel. Strands of exotic flowers hang from the ceiling, gently swaying in the fragrant heat of the kitchen.

When the Larb arrives, it’s presented on a simple white plate. A blend of ground chicken, chopped green onion, and bird’s eye chili, the dish is served with fresh cabbage leaves and raw green beans.


Upon first bite, a melange of sweet, sour, and stinging spice immediately arrests the tongue.

Whatever problems you and your friends came in with dissolve in the heavy perspiration of your brows. The second face you’ve painted on melts away to reveal your real one. The only way to overcome the burn is to eat more. Yet each bite crescendos in saccharin spice. Now all you can focus on is your breath, as your heart races and your tastebuds beg for mercy. Your mind knows you’ll survive, but your body argues otherwise. The rest of the table laughs through tears of sweat and pain because they feel that way too.

Finally, when the plate is empty and your face hurts from smiling, it hits you. This is the power of Larb. For the first time in a long time, you forgot about the noise. The bills, deadlines, the unanswered texts. You stopped living in the “what ifs” and “I should haves” to arrive in the present. It’s a place you haven’t been for a while. But it’s where you’d like to stay