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SE Asian on the LES / East Village for a returning New Yorker?

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After several years of living abroad, I'm coming home to NYC next Friday and I'm looking to have a great meal with a few old friends.

I seem to recall a bunch of great Asian - might have been Malay or Thai or Vietnamese - on 1st or 2nd Ave and around the East Village - but don't remember the names of any of them!

Just looking for somewhere nice, quiet, with space for my bags, with decent eats (and a vegetarian option).

I need to arrange a rendezvous point, otherwise I'd just wander around until something struck my fancy!

MANY thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. well you won't find any "great" SE Asian in that area...but your best bet might to go to Jeeb (Orchard St)...they will cook authentic stuff to order if you beg them to and the enclosed back patio area is spacious...

    Another option is Tigerland, on Ave.A...not down&dirty authentic but everything is made w/ superb, sometimes organic ingredients...it's a mix of adapted Thai and Vietnamese dishes...they'd also be very nice about bags, space, etc...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Simon

      Try SEA on 2nd and 5th. Its Thai and its excellent.

    2. klong on st marks btw 2nd and 3rd is my favorite thai in the east village. the food is good, and it is spacious and restful.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chartreusevelour

        yikes...i beg to differ...

        the food is sickeningly sweet...it's geographically convenient for me so i actually tried it three times: for lunch, dinner, and snacks: every meal was awful...

        my Thai friends have thought that Klong's food is so horrifyingly bad that they find it funny...although, it *is* amusing to see a Thai try agonizingly hard to be polite about a terrible meal while still being honest in admitting that it's really an embarassment to Thai cuisine...imagine: a confused, slightly nauseous smile that threatens to turn into a grimace and then hides itself under a bed of awkward laughter...

        and Klong: restful?...unless you go at 3pm, it's a very loud tourist scene...

      2. Try Zaab City on E 13th between 2nd and 3rd. I've just come back from Thailand and this is the best thai food I've had in NY. The larb, the mango salad, the curries - all as hot as you want them. The pad thai is perfect. And it is a BYO place. It's small, quiet (no music!!) and has a very friendly staff.

        3 Replies
        1. re: hs70

          Skyway (Allen Street near Canal) is really not all that far south of the EV, and pretty fabulous Malaysian food. Zabb City (for Isaan That) would be my second choice.

          1. re: Mayur

            This is what I miss about NYC - a thousand different, passionate opinions about everything :-) It isn't that the restaurants in London are all rubbish, but nothing matches the variation, quality and cost of NYC eats.

            Many thanks for all the suggestions. Skyway sounds fab, but I might go there on my own at some point. One of my companions for the eve is a confirmed vegetarian and usually rather frightened by anything not Italian or French.

            I can't find any listings for Zabb City

            Tigerland looks like the most likely suspect here. Hmmm ...

            Many thanks!

            1. re: Professor Quatermass

              Here's Zabb City's menupages.com page:

              http://menupages.com/restaurantdetail...