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Mar 22, 2008 07:50 AM

Nusara in Elmhurst?

Any recommendations?

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  1. looking for recs myself. from the boards and from online:

    + pork jerky strips
    + tom yum noodle soup
    + lao-style papaya salad
    + thai-style hainanese chicken
    + massaman curry
    + pork blood noodle soup

    haven't been there myself, but planning to go tonight. can anyone give some more recs for what to order? I have high hopes for the place and don't want to order any bum dishes. when it comes to srip vs chao, I'm of the chao camp.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bigjeff

      thought I'd reply to my own thread:

      between the 3 of us last night, we had the seafood on the pier (large soup), lao-style papaya salad, pork larb, num tok (beef blood noodle soup) and tamarind duck, along with side orders of sticky rice and chicken broth rice. we were stuffed and, maybe we ordered slightly strange. we had the thai iced tea ice cream (excellent and perfect flavor). everything was nice and spicy (our sassy waitress asked us for preference, but I think she held back when one of us said very spicy and another said pretty spicy).

      overall, it was pretty damn good. the papaya salad was not very special to me, although there was some interesting element. definitely not too exotic a flavor. I thought it would be the pounded style but it was a pretty generic preparation, with some slivers of thai eggplant (raw) and maybe a little funkier fish sauce. good, but kinda spare. the larb was excellent, really tender non-uniform pieces of pork, great spice, and the crushed roasted rice mixed in gave an excellent texture. the seafood on the pier sorta disappointed; basically like a tom yum but without the heat (although big gulps did give a nice concentrate of heat); the seafood was very fresh and perfectly tender and cooked but, not amazing. shoulda got the tom-yum noodle soup I think. the beef blood noodle soup on the other hand was very flavorful, really sweet and really good rendition. clean taste but definitely bloody, and the beef, liver and beef balls were very nice as well. the tamarind duck was the loser; basically like sweet and sour over fried pieces of duck; it was good, but, really a waste of duck. the rice was good; the sticky rice in the plastic bag inside bamboo but the chicken broth rice (subtle, nice) in the shape of a lovely goldfish.

      but the thai tea ice cream killed! tasted exactly like a thai iced coffee; it could've been creamier and took on a little bit of an ice milk texture but really really nice, captured thai iced tea flavor (and even the signature orange color!) perfectly. a lot of people were also ordering the pumpkin custard which looked like a section of a kabocha or something with the center filled w/ some custard, looked quite nice.

      overall, the people are really nice and enthusiastic, I think we could have ordered better and I'd love to give the place a second chance.

      1. re: bigjeff

        We had a wonderful meal at Nusara on Saturday night. Started off with the sun-soaked pork strips, which were rockin'. This dish has been described by the previous poster (and, I think by Peter Meehan in his Times write-up) as "jerky," but I found it to be more meaty (for lack of a better term) than jerky usually is - it had meat and fat sparerib-eque quality to it, very smokey and delicious. We also had the lao style (read: anchovy) papaya salad - spicy as all get-out.
        I also had the roasted duck with chili sauce - the presentation was beautiful (thick slices of crispy skinned duck with a light and sweet and a bit spicy chili sauce) - skin was delightfully crispy, the duck was gloriously rich and juicy and fatty, and had a lovely roasty smokey taste.

        This was as good as anything I've had at Sripraphai, with the possible exception of Sri's softshell crab with pumpkin in green curry.

        We will be back.