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Authentic Thai food in Brooklyn?

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Anybody know of any authentic Thai restaurants in Brooklyn? Maybe along the stretch of 8th Avenue in Chinatown Brooklyn? Any Royal Thai cuisine out there? Any places that actually give you the condiment try with the various peppers?

I’m looking for something more along the lines of what the food actually is like in Thailand. Not the “gringo” Thai places like Lemongrass Grill that give you chopsticks. (Thais eat w/ a fork and spoon) There’s got to be a place that has more of a traditional Thai menu and less of the Chinese influenced stuff we see all over.

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  1. Don't know of any in Bklyn. Only queens.

    I had a friend who was Thai. She mainly ate with her spoon. And she said they do use chopsticks for noodles only.

    1. I always prefer "good" over "authentic".

      We like LANTERN THAI on Montague Street, and enjoy JOYA when they have Soft Shell crab or Fish.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Fleur

        No disresprct to you Fleur. I love your posts. But I must say and I think others will agree that both Lantern Thai and Joya are neither authetic NOR are they good. Subpar all the way. Have you ever had -real- Thai food? Joya is just so mediocre. Can't remember Lantern much; havent been in a while.

        Again, Fleur. Not picking a fight. Joya is just sensitive with me, I guess.

        1. re: Larry Brooks

          No offense taken, Larry. I stated that I prefer "good" to "authentic". I have had wonderful Thai food in Thailand and I enjoyed it very much.

          When I state that LANTERN and JOYA might not be authentic, they are, IMO, good. What I mean by that is very fresh, high quality natural ingredients, made fresh and served correctly. Both those restaurants use high quality ingredients, and their fish and seafood is excellent.

          1. re: Fleur

            joya is decent enough after a six pack, but i think your stretching it to say "very fresh, high quality natural ingredients." that sounds more like how i'd describe the food at rosewater.

      2. Larry why is Joya sensitive with you?
        I love Em on smith - I dont think its authentic - its just really really good.

        What in Brooklyn would you consider authentic - and I am one of those people who believes that authentic isnt always something I can stomach.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Ljubitca

          I agree. We tried JOYA on Smith Street and it was very good.

          1. re: Fleur

            Not a big fan of Lantern, but I'll agree on Joya being good, their Pad Thai is one of my favorites anywhere. Not "authentic"- but tasty.

        2. Not sure how authentic it is, but Siam Orchid in Williamsburg is quite good.
          Some of the dishes there are similar to dishes I ate during the short time I was in Thailand, but I'm no expert.
          They have a delicious duck salad (I believe that's Yum Ped?) that I've ordered several times.
          It's no Sripraphai, but it hits the spot.
          Now if only I could get Kanom Krok delivered...

          1 Reply
          1. re: empecot

            I agree, Siam Orchid is the closest I've found to authentic Thai in Brooklyn. Not quite as much so as Sripraphai, but much more so that the other places I've found throughout Brooklyn.

            Its quite good, very reasonable, and very friendly. Its tiny though - more oriented to take out, so I wouldn't recommend it for a large group.

          2. They give chopsticks as an option, I'm sure they gave you a fork and spoon as well. Just as when you go to a Chinese restaurant they will not say "no" when a "gringo" asks for a fork.

            As for authentic, go to Queens, Sriphaphai.

            1. OK. Thanks for the replies.
              I agree that Joya is a good restaurant. In fact, it used to be my favorite Thai restaurant in NYC...then I went to Thailand last October. Now Joya is just another “good” restaurant to me.

              Those of you who have been to Thailand will know what I mean. It’s not that the food is “better” there, it’s just that it seems to transcend anything that we in NYC call Thai food. This is all a function of it’s existence within its native context; the ingredients are local, the preparation is dependent upon the technology at hand, and the overall tastes are more unique to that particular region or city, or even that particular pushcart vendor. Sadly, I realize that this level of authenticity can’t be recreated here but I’m trying to find something that comes close. Someplace that has dishes beyond the usual suspects of Pad Thai and coconut curries.

              Several people have mentioned Queens. What’s up with that? Is there a Thai community there? I know nothing about it. Please tell me more!


              2 Replies
              1. re: Gnu23

                The excellent, and very elaborate food one finds in Thailand, has not really found its way to NY. I was impressed by the labor intensive and most beautiful art work carvings of decorative fruit and vegetables. The ingredients are showcased in dishes, and the cooking has the feeling of being part of an ancient, noble tradition.

                I am hoping that with the publication of the Shun Lee Cookbook, there will be a Renaissance of fabulous, gorgeous, Chinese Food. Hopefully this will extent to Thai Cuisine as well.

                1. re: Gnu23

                  Excellent point, regarding ingredients et al. Add to that the different climate, both on land and sea, and any number of other intangibles. Amongst food enthusiasts, the quest for truly authentic food is a noble one, borne of a willingness to go beyond what we know and a healthy curiosity, but, ultimately, not totally realistic in my view.

                2. Yes, there is a small Thai enclave in Woodside, Queens where the famous & very authentic thai restaurant, Sriphaphai is located but don't expect to see rows and rows of Thai groceries and stuff. The restaurant itself is very busy and quirky with their hours (as only great tasting restaurants can be) the kitchen closes by 9:30 so you have to be seated and ordered by then, if you go during 6-8pm expect to take a number and wait and don't forget WED they are CLOSED.

                  They will give you those hot chilies you mentioned in fish sauce if you ask (it's only upon request). I was introduced to this place years ago by a Thai friend and they have been consistently good, service is friendly (sometimes harried but hey, they tend to be busy). Google the address, it's along the 7 train but accessible via the R & V as well, I don't recall the exact address.

                  Try the Crispy Watercress Salad with Squid, Chicken & Shrimp, Papaya Salad, Laab & curries...Yum!!!

                  Also, NO CREDIT CARDS...is this place a Diva or what? You'll put up with the attitude because it's THAT good =)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: moymoy

                    Yes, gnu23, you've gotta go to Sripraphai. It's often hyped on this board, but for very good reason. It's worth waiting for the G train, or a drive up the BQE. I haven't been to Thailand -- not yet anyway -- but this must be what food in Thailand tastes like. It completely transcends every other Thai restaurant I've ever tried (except one in Las Vegas). But you might want to skip most of the noodle dishes. This place's strength is in... well, everything else. Esp. curries and soft-shell crab dishes and that amazing crispy watercress salad and lots of other stuff. I went to Sripraphai last night, a Friday, at 7:15 and it may have been more crowded than I've ever seen it, and that's saying something. There was a serious line, so be prepared to wait if you get there on a Fri. or Sat. after about 7. Cash only.

                    64-13 39th Ave (near Roosevelt Ave), Woodside, Queens
                    7 train to 69th or 61st-Woodside;
                    or R/G/V to 65th and walk a couple blocks south on 65th


                    Driving directions near the bottom of this thread:

                  2. AM Thai Chili Basil - 359 McDonald Ave

                    1. i had a really nice thai meal from watana siam the other night... south slope area on 7th ave.

                      1. JohnnyCT, I love AM Thai, I'd say it's pretty good, but not great. Do you live nearby? I live within 5 blocks of AM Thai. If you're interested in discussing nearby restaurants, message me at this name on AOL.

                        1. AVOID PLANET THAI ON n7 ST IN THE BURG

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: FAL

                            I agree. What is up w/ that place? It's all over the map...sushi, udon, Thai? A long, long time ago – circa 1995, before W'burg became Manhattan – Planet Thailand used to be in a dinner space on Bedford Ave. Anybody remember that? They had a counter you could sit at and watch the cook work 5 woks at once. It was actually pretty good back then.

                            Thanks for the info re: Sripraphai. I will definatelty check it out.

                            1. re: Gnu23

                              I used to go there all the time when it was on Bedford Ave. Once they moved to the larger site the food and service went down hill.

                              1. re: FAL

                                I believe that when they were on Bedford (and for that era, really good Thai) they were called Plan Eat Thailand (as Planet Hollywood threatened to sue them). Those were the days.

                                1. re: bobjbkln

                                  That's right, Plan Eat Thailand! I totally remember that now.

                          2. watana siam in the slope is consistently good. their tofu spices and the ribs appetizer are so flavorful that the minute i finish, i'm looking forward to my next dinner opportunity to order.