Zabb City suggestions?
So I've never made it out to Zabb in Queens (the one time I tried, I found out they are closed for lunch! Has that changed, by the way?). Going to Zabb City tonight, I understand it's not as extensive as original flavor, but I'm wondering what I can get that is specifically Issan that is available and done well at the Manhattan branch--especially because I'm not familiar with Issan? Going with someone who will most likely order pad thai (I'm just betting) but I would love to know what I could get for myself, plus another dish to split, that is not something I could get at Sri or Pam or Wondee.
I just got back from dinner at Zabb City and I had the pork laab, which I have to order almost very time I go. It has that great Thai mix of spices and gets a little crunch from rice flour (right?). I also had a very nice red curry with beef. Another dish that I like there is spicy Zabb duck. I've been going here a lot lately - it's not in the same league as Sripraphai but it's about as good as it gets for Manhattan Thai. And the woman who runs the place, Pak, is an absolute sweetheart.
You must have been there the same time as me! I got the papaya salad, Esan sausage (no real difference from Chinese sausage, but delicious), and the crispy duck salad. Delicious. Spicy, but not super spicy. Later the owner asked me if it was spicy enough, I hemmed and hawed, and she told me that they can go up to 5-star spicy and for me they only did 3-star! Surprising, since it isn't always obvious which Asian nationality I am, I was really hoping when I asked for extra spicy I'd get it. She promised to remember me next time, which I thought was so sweet!
ditto the pork laab ("laab moo" in Thai)...a classic Isaan meal would be laab moo, sticky rice, and somtam (green papaya salad)...the last time i ordered the laab moo it was (by request) truly insanely spicy (more so than most of the laab moo i've had in N.Thailand)...the somtam at Zaab City is better than at Sripraphai
i haven't tried the whole Isaan fish yet at Zaab City, but that's another typical Isaan dish: it's deep-fried and topped w/ green mango salad...