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Best Thai -- hit most places on 9th Ave and other areas -- dissatisfied...

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Looking for some really good, authentic, spicy, fresh, homemade (not from prebottled sauces) Thai. Will venture to Sriprapai sometime soon, but in the meantime, what is the best Thai in the city?

And appalled by how many places serve such paltry soups with lunch -- it's like hot water with a cube of tofu.... ???? And the salad is iceburg with a commercial dressing on top. Eager to find really great, or at least very good, Thai in the city -- anywhere!!

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  1. i've yet to find any good Thai in Manhattan...it's a sad state of affairs...but i've been meaning to try Galanga (W.4thSt) as i've heard decent reports here...

    8 Replies
    1. re: Simon

      omg, do NOT go here! I went on a saturday evening and we ordered 3 appetizers and padthai. EVERY appetizer was basically unedible. The crispy duck salad was swimming in some sorta watery dressing and the grilled octopus was burnt tasting and VERY rubbery. When the waitress saw that we didn't touch the octopus she asked if it was rubbery...so I said, "yes it was actually, we couldn't even eat it." Thinking that was the norm, since she knew it was rubbery, I asked if it could be taken off the bill and she told me there was no manager on duty.

      NO manager on a saturday night? The whole thing pissed me off becuz a good business would not expect the customer to pay for crap....so I took it off the bill myself and left her with basically no tip. One of us was paying and it was not going to be me.

      If she tried to do something about it or even ask someone...I wouldn't have done that...but she did nothing.

      I will never go back there and I recommend you don't either.

      1. re: sourpatch

        Thanks for the warning...i shall take Galanga off my to-try list, as this reaffirms for me that there is no decent Thai in Manhattan...

        1. re: Simon

          have you tried Khin Khoa($$) or Kittichai($$$$)..very different price ranges but i like both..Khin Khoa is pretty reliable and Kittichai can be amazing at points..otherwise places like Rain East/West or Land Thai arent horrible...but 9th ave midtown(im assuming from your title)choices are kinda poor...

          1. re: AJA

            a thai friend of mine is always touting wondee siam on 9th ave. for good thai takeout. i've never been, but she always raves.

            1. re: gifter girl

              Wondee Siam has been much discussed here...it sort of sat here in chowhoundland as the winner of the "best-chance-at-a-semi-decent-Thai-meal-in-Manhattan" for a while...i went there twice and posted about it...it's okay, and if you BEG them to cook your food spicy, they'll meet you halfway...but it's still far below what's available in Queens, and it really only works if you're in the neighborhood...not a destination place...

          2. re: Simon

            Although they're admittedly inconsistent, my go-to Thai places in Manhattan are Galanga (neighborhood) and Pam's ("destination") from which I've had many more good meals than not. I've lived in both Chiang Mai and BKK, like it very spicy and understand the frustration here, but I disagree that either of these places is to be avoided.

          3. re: sourpatch

            I've actually liked Galanga a great deal the several times I've been (tho last time was about a year ago). I usually order several appetizers off the menu for a tapas style meal (including the maligned duck salad and corn fritters).

          4. re: Simon

            I live in Hell's Kitchen, so I second the recommendations of Pam Real as the best on 9th ave.

            Sorry to hear that someone else hated Galanga. I've been several times and really enjoyed it. My wife and I would even go down from 168th St. when we lived up there to go to Galanga for dinner. I think their basil dishes are quite good, and the ambience of the restaurant breaks my normal "nice interior=terrible food" calculus. The food isn't the "best Thai in the known universe", but you get good food and a bit of a downtown feel for cheap.
            -David

          5. Well, the proof is in the pad thai, but the rumor going around town is that the new Pam's Real Thai opening on 47th Street is going to feature a massively revamped menu as well as a revived commitment to ultra-fresh ingredients. I understand that the management is also using the move as a chance to get rid of lots of deadweight on staff. So there may still be hope.

            Nosher

            Link: http://nycnosh.com

            1. Prem-On Thai. Their lunch special in particular is a great deal.

              1. pam real thai is my favorite in the city.

                You can talk to the waitress and tell them that I want it made with ground pork or I want the food less sweet. They are fairly accomodating. You can ask for hotsauce and stuff on the side too.

                Last time I was there, the crispy pork was pretty good and I like their basil n chili dishes. The coconut curries tend to have over cooked meat though and aren't anythign special.

                The portions are fairly large though.

                1. true...Prem-on *will* cook you authentic and spicy things if you request things that aren't on the menu...it beats most of Manhattan competition (but that's not saying very much)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Simon

                    i agree that they're pretty good, albeit a bit fusion-y and upscale. but, do elaborate, what's not on the menu that you can ask for?

                    1. re: sedap

                      they'll whip up a decent laab gai (ground chicken salad, very spicy "Pet maak maak")...and they've also cooked me some red curry paste dishes w/o coconut milk...

                  2. "Eager to find really great, or at least very good, Thai in the city -- anywhere!!"

                    Anywhere? I've have better Thai food in Quincy MA and Chicago's Hyde Park than anything I've had in Manhattan over the past 25+ years. Go to Queens, go elsewhere, or go to one of the two Thai grocery stores in Chinatown and then go home. ;)

                    1. i really liked prem, too! they will cook it as spicy as you want and i think the snapper
                      was amazing...yes, very authentic flavors.

                      1. Alana, are you willing to go to Brooklyn? JOYA on Court St. is pretty good. They used to be my favorite Thai resto in NYC before I went to Thailand last year. Now they're just another good place to eat.
                        I had the very same post as you recently:
                        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/373936

                        1. Try "The Holy Basil" on 2nd Avenue and 10th Street, I think it has some of the best Thai in the city!