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Feb 23, 2010 08:07 AM

Brooklyn Thai (that doesnt suck)

Besides Am Thai Chile Basil, which I happened to really enjoy, is there a Thai Restaurant in Brooklyn that isnt a Thai version of Americanized shitty Chinese..

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  1. Mai Thai in Sunset Park isn't bad at all. It's located in an Asian area so they really don't need to cater to middle American tastes. Give it a try.

    27 Replies
    1. re: Bob Martinez

      I live in Clinton Hill. I should have specified.. So, if there is a Thai Restaurant that far away, I am just driving to Queens.

      1. re: StheJ


        Is the Thai in Manhattan better than BK? If so please tell me where.

          1. re: Bob Martinez

            Thanks for the link, but there is nothing there that indicates that there is any really good Thai in Manhattan or that Manhattan Thai is really better than Brooklyn's. One or two so-so places topped by Pam's, which I find no better than Watana for example.

            There is no Thai version of Szechuan Gourmet that I know of, although if someone were to point me to one I'd be very very happy.

            Sorry to talk about an inner borough here, by the way.

            1. re: MRich

              The pickings in Brooklyn are pretty slim. Manhattan is better, and Queens is better than Manhattan.

              1. re: MRich

                I would say that the best Thai in Manhattan > best Thai in BK. And I'm not talking about Pam's Real Thai, which as you mentioned is on the level of Watana. Kittichai and Kurve are both better than any Thai in BK. BK is surprisingly weak on Thai and Indian food considering the wealth of culinary gems. I've eaten at Em and I thought it was serviceable but not great. The fried items were greasy and clunky. Planet Thai and Sea were both disgusting. Literally disgusting. At Planet Thai, the restaurant reeked of bad fish and bleach.

                1. re: Pookipichu

                  I will try Kittichai and Kurve.

                  Pending that, I still say calling Manhattan Thai better than Brooklyn Thai is a hair's width distinction.

          2. re: Daniel76

            I live in Park Slope and it's a 15 minute drive via the BQE. (Get off at the 38th St. exit. ) (Granted, Sri is about 20 minutes away but sometimes you're coming from a different direction.)

            There's lots of reasons to visit Sunset Park. Great Banh mi at Ba Xuyen. Good Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants. Good shopping for kitchen equipment and shoes. You should check it out.

            1. re: Bob Martinez

              Sunset Park is a fun place.. I will have to go back for Thai.. Had a fairly poor experience with Malayasian there.. But, found one of those dollar dumpling places that was great.. XSG Dumpling House.

              1. re: Bob Martinez

                You're better off going around the park and taking ft hamilton parkway to sunset park... less traffic and hassle overall plus, it's quicker and more direct.

                1. re: StheJ

                  I've done it both ways. I don't disagree with you but it depends on how close you are to the BQE.

                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                    And if they're blocking off the prospect avenue entrance, which they seem to do randomly...

                  2. re: StheJ

                    From Park Slope I find 5th Ave to 39th Street, left next to Greenwood to 9th Ave, south on that to whichever street you want to cut over on to 8th Ave. to be quickest. Too bad the reverse route doesnt work these days.

                    1. re: jen kalb

                      Doesn't make sense for me, seems like you're going east to go west just to go back east again, but to each their own... Ft. Hamilton goes pretty quick and it's straight, especially if you're already over by the prospect expressway.

                      1. re: StheJ

                        The drive is not the problem, it's parking.

                  3. re: Bob Martinez

                    What is a good store for kitchen equipment in Sunset Park?

                    1. re: michelley

                      Eversun Kitchen Supply Inc
                      4815 8th Ave (between 48th St & 49th St)

                      It's worth checking out, especially as part of a shopping and eating expedition down 8th Ave.

                      I also recommend the Hong Kong Supermarket on 8th Ave. and 60th St. It's a full sized market entirely devoted to Asian foods and products. It's big. There are a couple of aisles that have cookware, dishes, and appliances.

                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                        I made it here for the first time a few weeks ago - i was very impressed by the quality (and obviously price) of the produce. the butcher's counter was doing a rushing business too and also seemed to have great prices and a wide selection. i will definitely be back.

                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                          Thanks, I was looking for a new wok.

                          1. re: michelley

                            Try out both places although my guess is that you'll wind up buying at HK Supermarket. They've got woks in all shapes and sizes and the prices are quire good.

                            (Nha Trang Palace is a couple of blocks from HKS - very good pho.)

                    2. re: Daniel76

                      You are not too far from Watana and it has relatively authentic food. Watana is not terrible. That's high praise for Brooklyn Thai.

                      1. re: Daniel76

                        Speaking micro-locally, then, I live in Ft. Greene, and I've had good experiences with Myrtle Thai, though it might be more of the cheap Americanized stuff, they have some of the better AmeriThai food I've had in Brooklyn. My friends say to avoid Manee Thai.

                      2. re: Bob Martinez

                        I'll agree with Bob that Mai Thai "isn't bad," but from my experience not worth a trip. I've been meaning to try Am-Thai, but haven't gotten around to it. That's the place that Sietsema wrote about with very limited seating, yes?


                        1. re: Peter Cherches

                          I actually think AM-Thai is pretty damn good. And they have some unique dishes. It is the place Sietsma wrote about. He pointed out some of the things they do that are special. FWIW, around here in Kensington, AM-Thai is one of our best, of the few and mostly blah, delivery options. The food comes fast, hot and friendly. I find that makes the place exceptional.

                          Otherwise, of course, like most CHers, when we can, we're going to Queens.

                          1. re: Peter Cherches

                            I've tried Am-Thai a few times but haven't been impressed. I think Sietsema exaggerated its merits. The flavors at Am-Thai are not properly balanced (too sweet, not enough fish sauce). There is no comparison to a place like Sripraphai or the other good Thai spots in Queens.

                            Last night I happened to be in Jackson Heights. Sripraphai is closed on Wednesdays, so I went to Zabb Thai. Had really great som tum with peanuts, pork larb & sticky rice. Fresh, flavorful, and balanced. Much, much better than Am-Thai (though granted, Am-Thai does not specialize in Issan food so perhaps the comparison is unfair).

                            Not saying you shouldn't bother to check it out, but don't get your hopes up too high.

                            1. re: Westminstress

                              It's worth noting, as I understand it that AM in Kensington, and EM on Smith St (lauded with reservations above), are owned by the same folks.

                            2. re: Peter Cherches

                              it is.. Am Thai is actually really good.. their pumpkin curry is awesome. .the woman also told me she would make me any dish I asked for. I just needed to give her a couple of days.. I have been meaning to have her cook a thai feast up for a couple of friends.

                          2. I've found Born on Flatbush in Prospect Heights doesn't suck.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Ralphus

                              Sorry, I dont think Born is particularly good. What dishes did you like? maybe I picked the wrong items??

                              Among other things I am very disappointed with the genre of mostly Chinese-run , I think, asian restaurants operating in yuppie neighborhoods that have a formula in which they wont cook fresh pork and use boneless white meat chicken and stir fry minimally, on the assumption their clients prefer their food "light". Born seems to be in this category.

                              Also paltry use of vegetables and fresh herbs

                              1. re: jen kalb

                                I never meant to imply it was outstanding, just thought it didn't completely suck. We tried the panang curry and found it to be good but not mindblowing. I was a bit disappointed with the drunken noodle in that they didn't use the wide, flat noodles that I prefer but it was pretty much as indicated on the menu upon further review. We ordered take out a couple times after a few beers, so that should probably be taken into account as well.

                            2. This may be too far for you, but the spicy menu at Em Thai does not suck. It's not sweet and cloying, and it's really spicy. It's not the best Thai, but it's better than other Brooklyn Thai I've had. Don't stray from the spicy menu though.

                              Then again, I was underwhelmed by Sri, so maybe we have different taste buds.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: oolah

                                I agree that the Em spicy menu is worthwhile. It's no Sri or Zabb, but it's the only Thai food that I'll eat in the 'hood.

                                1. re: EJC

                                  I agree with the Em recommendation. I've lived in Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens for years and this is the only place in the neighborhood that's good and it's actually quite good. I've also been eating at Sripraphai forever so I know that nothing really compares to it, but Em is a reliable and good place to get Thai in Brooklyn if you don't want to schlep to Woodside.

                                  1. re: scarlet starlet

                                    Another thumbs up for Em and their spicy menu--their duck dishes are typically quite good too.

                                    1. re: Nehna

                                      That's funny, I'm not an Em fan. In Carroll Gardens I prefer Nine-D. I gave up on Em after my SO asked them to put some dried shrimp in his pad thai and they claimed that you couldn't buy dried shrimp in new york. Tho my Thai sister-in-law once got decent food from EM after explaining for about 10 minutes in Thai exactly what she wanted. (she's very particular.) That doesn't help me, as my Thai is not so good.

                                      I really wish Sri (or Zabb, or any good Queens thai--Chao Thai?) would open a branch in Brooklyn. I think there's a market for it.

                                      1. re: missmasala

                                        MissMasala, I recommend you give the spicy menu at Em a try sometime. I used to prefer Nine-D too, but the spicy stuff at Em is pretty tasty. I particularly like the ground pork dish, which is pretty mouth-searing and flavorful.

                                        The rest of their menu is less impressive.

                                        1. re: oolah

                                          OK. it's literally around the corner from me, so I'll give it another shot.

                                          Also, I've heard that Em is owned by the same people that own the thai place in kensington (AM chile thai basil?) that people seem to like a lot. Have never been to that one, but wonder if they tone it down for carroll gardens or if the people who like the kensington place have never been to sri or zabb or chao.

                                2. re: oolah

                                  Em is actually owned by the people who own AM- Thai Chile Basil.. So, that is encouraging..

                                3. I don't even think Am Thai is that good. You are much better off driving to Queens.

                                  1. I might be a total Thai noob but i really like Amarin Cafe in Greenpoint. Their curry is very good and the pad thai is really fresh tasting.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: monikamost

                                      Amarin is the best of a bunch of bad options in Williamsburg but I'm not sure that qualifies it for good. It's the equivalent of chinese takeout.

                                      Amarin Cafe
                                      617 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222