We finally managed to eat a meal at Poleng Lounge, and we wish Bauer's three stars hadn't kept us away longer.
The long green beans were lavishly coated in a delightfully strong shrimp paste. The chunks of paste in among the beans had an almost cheesy flavor from the aged shrimp proteins. What struck me was just how tasty the beans were, and how weak the sauces are in comparison at 95% of Thai restaurants that shouldn't be affraid to funk up a sauce if it's what's called for.
Cubes of beef with a delightfully underripe pineapple salsa and crispy shallots came on the same plate with coconut toasts and some poached marrow standing up perkily in half a bone. This dish was the standout for the night, and I'm hard pressed to think of anywhere else I can find a filling dish featuring marrow for $11.
The drink menu also manages an entire page of both unique and tempting specialties. My "Lady Boy," wasabi vodka, fresh ginger, soda, and black tea was perfect.
If it hadn't been a week night, I probably also would have sampled some of their wonderful selection of teas, which definitely give Samovar a run for its money.
Poleng Lounge is on Fulton at Masonic, and actually has free tables midweek now after the Bauer chasing hoards have moved on to the next media darling.