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Jul 18, 2006 04:46 PM

Sripraphai strategy for birthdya dinner

I am thinking of heading to Sripraphai for dinner with a group of friends(6-10) on a friday night next month. I was wondering what the best strategy for getting a table would be. I have been in California for over a year so i have not been there in a while. If i recall correctly, they do not take reservations. How many people can they accomodate in case it gets big? Also any new dishes in their repetoire worth trying?


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  1. They have expanded quite a bit, so I think you won't have a problem with getting a table.

    1. The earlier the better. If you can get those people to show up at 6:00 you'll be in good shape.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Bob Martinez

        6:00 probably not necessary these days, given how much bigger the place is now. They've done not just one, but two expansions. However, the staff seem reluctant to open the beautiful new back garden patio area even when it's very busy; maybe it's hellish to try to wait tables back there for some reason.

        It can still get really packed on Friday and Saturday nights but the lines usually aren't ridiculously long anymore. I'd say if you're there by 7 or 7:30, excellent. Otherwise, you might wait 15-25 minutes. Probably not more unless you have all 10 people.

        For anybody reading this on 7/20 and thinking of heading out to Sri today, call first to be sure their power problems are resolved... on Tuesday 7/18, Sri was closed due to the big blackout in the Woodside area, which continued yesterday, Wed 7/19, although Sri is closed Wednesdays anyway. I trekked all the way out there to meet some friends before I remembered it was closed Wednesdays, but even if it weren't, it still wouldn't have worked out because the whole neighborhood was without electricity, people were spilling out onto the streets from every building because there was no A/C, there was some sort of underground fire or something on 62nd and the FD came out in force, and grocery stores were throwing out spoiled meat. Chaos. Fortunately Zabb and Upi Jaya were both open up the street. Upi Jaya, always a good second choice! Mmmmmmm.

        1. re: Ike

          While the comments of the people who eat there more often may be more accurate, I would be hesitant to say that you would not have trouble getting in at peak time on a Friday evening. About two months ago we (two people) went there on a *Thursday* night about 7:00 PM and the place was packed and and several parties were waiting outside for their number to be called. We were told by the staff that the wait was at least of half hour. We went to Zabb instead and had a great meal.

          1. re: bobjbkln

            Wow, really? And that was after their most recent expansion, right? When it comes to "eating there more often," in all honesty, I should defer to you, because I only get a chance to get out there about once a month or so. I actually live in NJ, but I work in NYC and, in any case, we sure don't have any Thai in NJ that can measure up to Sri. It's worth the trek.

            What did you have at Zabb that was really good? I went there once and thought it was OK, but NOT worth the trek for me, or my friend from Inwood/Wash Hts -- nowhere near the complexity and depth of flavors I've had at Sri. Can't remember what we had -- a couple of larbs, I think. Maybe we should've tried the som tum? Or maybe it was an off night.

            1. re: Ike

              I also had an underwhelming meal at Zabb. I ordered catfish larb and chicken basil, and I felt like I was outed as a non-Thai, as they were hardly spiced authentically (especially the larb). I'm pretty sure I asked for it to be extra hot, but it didn't help.

              1. re: Ike

                its hard to remember specific dishes - the salads are generally very good, the drunken noodles (better than sri) the BBQ meat, the hot pot (remember this is issan so not a place for curries). We've not had to ask for spicy but maybe theve gotten cautious - why not ask for some nam prik pao or other chile sauce if they underseason? It seems to me they offer a liquidy chile condiment that is very good.

                1. re: Ike

                  Yes, this was after both expansions (in fact, I remember a few years ago before any expansions, not having a problem getting in Thursday evenings). I note that a later poster indicated that Thursdays may be more crowded than the weekends. BTW, once a month is more than we get to Sri. This was about two months ago. I don't remember what we had at Zabb except for the Drunken Noodles which was excellent. The other dishes were good too, I just don't remember. I do remember that they don't serve beer and that getting to a grocery store to get some was a pain with all the construction around there.

                  1. re: Ike

                    Actually, they do serve beer now, which sucks, b/c the beer and wine list is not very good. I liked it better when it was BYO.

                  2. re: bobjbkln

                    In my experience, for some odd reason, they're more crowded on Thursdays than on Fridays. Maybe because they're close on Wed, or everyone trying to beat weekend crowds?..

                    1. re: welle

                      Laguera- are you saying Zabb is no longer BYO either? what is happening with the world?

                      1. re: welle

                        No jilieater, I don't know about Zaab. I was talking about Sri. Didn't realize the poster was referring to Zaab being BYO.

                        Incidentally, I went the other night and asked twice for the dishes to be spicy, and none were spicy enough. Disappointing. But everything was still delicious.

                2. Thanks for the tips. Any new dishes to try with the expansion?

                  1 Reply
                  1. I love the green curry w/roasted duck. Make sure you order some sticky rice to soak up the leftover sauce.....
                    Also, I always have to order the drunken noodles.

                    1. Awesome that you're going with a big group - that means you can order up a storm!

                      I would second the recommendation for green curry with duck; their coconut rice is a good pairing.

                      On apps, don't miss the softshell crab from the main menu (the one from the 'specials' isn't as spectacular as the original) - perfectly fried, with a kind of green mango salsa on the side. For 6-10, you'll want multiples of this one.

                      The bbq beef (rib?) app is also quite good - nice lime flavor - although it's spicy, so beware!

                      The chicken coconut soup is another fave. I know, you see it at every Thai joint, but Sri has nailed this dish: imo, perfect balance of tangyness, spice, and substance.

                      The noodles with Chinese broccoli are a good choice for a group, where some people might be less tolerant of spicyness. It won't blow your mind, but it's a solid dish that's sweet rather than spicy, so good to have on hand to balance out some of the heat from the others.

                      Another good dish-to-have-on-hand is the green papaya salad - spicy and unique, and just good in terms of getting some veggie content on the table.

                      Ouf... getting hungry writing this. Maybe I'll make a pilgrimmage out this weekend!