Can anyone recommend a good Thai restaurant? We're looking for one which will serve "real" Thai food, not a melange of Indonesian, Malaysian, Chinese, etc. It should also be pretty fiery stuff. We've just moved back from years overseas, partly in Asia, and are desperate for the genuine article. My grandmother is half-Thai and she can only recommend one place in Flushing.
I always loved Topaz on 56th street between 6th and
7th avenues. I cannot compare to Thailand as I haven't
been there but it is consistently good and service is
so nice. One of the waitresses used to give me the
okay or no-go on guys I would have take me there on
dates(haha). I lived around the corner!
Ja-Ya Thai on 3rd and 28th gets a 20 in Zagat but I
have been disappointed eveytime I tried it (3 x's).
The food is okay but the service is terrible!
Topaz is also a cute place to eat. Warm and cozy!
What is the name (and address if you have it) of
the place recommended by your grandma? I live in
Flushing and have been searching for good Thai
cuisine since I returned from SE Asia last winter.
If you're ever in Forest Hills I can recommend
"Simply Thai" at 118-16 Queens Blvd. Their food
is a close approximation to the delectable fare
I sampled over there.
re: christina z
I followed up one of the suggestions posted in response to my first email and tried out Sripraphai, which turned out to be the same place my grandmother had mentioned. Maybe it was all the anticipation, but I confess the food wasn't all that amazing. Nonetheless it did have that genuine flavor. The roast duck green curry was the highlight - very tender meat (the first time I've had this meat in Thai curry) and a deep fiery curry sauce. We also liked the papaya salad and Thai beef salad. The disappointment was the pad thai, which was nicely cooked (not too greasy) but seemed to lack any real taste.
The staff, however, were unquestioningly great. They were friendly and quick to help with suggestions and point out personal favorites.
We also noticed lots of Thai customers coming in either to eat or to buy prepared foods - sweet and savoury - at the front counter.
It's well worth the trip out to Woodside - only 15 minutes from Grand Central Station on the 7 line or under 10 minutes from Penn Station by the LIRR.
I love Sripraphai, but their pad thai is a
dissappointment. Much better are their noodle dishes
made with the broad fresh rice noodles. I esp. like
the one with beef, broccoli and sweet soy, and another
with ground meat, chili and basil -- so hot it really
makes your mouth sing. i have also heard good things
about their spaghetti with curry sauce, though I have
never tried it.
Nyonya, a Malaysian place on Grand, has some great
noodles. Stand outs are a pad thai like dish with
lots of shrimp paste and garlic -- very pungent and
not sweet at all. It is called something like "cow
chews toe" and is the first dish in the noodle
section. (Gary Cheong, if you are listening please
rescue me on the name, and weigh in on the dish too!)
Also good is their mee siam, sort of a pscychedelic
singapore (oxymoron?) riff on pad thai, with sweet and
hot chili sauce and pork cracklings -- real wild.
I am Thai and I'm still looking. A few places I've found for specific dishes ( all restaurants in Manhattan): Thai Orchid on 1st and 52nd or 53rd has excellent pad see ew and OK lard na ( this is my brother's test dish of a restaurant). Thailand Cafe is in Chinatown on Bayard and Baxter. They have good noodle soups with the meatballs, etc. and curries that you rarely see on most Thai menus here in the US. They will also make it as spicy as you want it to be. One place I haven't tried in Chinatown is Mueng Thai, which is down the street from Joe's Shanghai. The tod mun at Jai-Ya Thai is wonderful. I lived in Thailand for a while and my quest to duplicate those flavors still goes on. Happy hunting and if you find others, please post.