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Sripraphai was Horrible -- Need a new 'go to' Thai restaurant

We've been going here for many years, long before the new expansion/move to the new spot in woodside. Since that time, as many others on the board have reported, there have been variations in quality. Some days worst (to a merely good experience) and some days sublime as usual. This past sunday we went for the first time in many months and it was actually bad. The fish with Chu Chee curry (which was one of my favorite dishes on the planet) was off; the eggplant with pork curry was flavorless and the red curry was like spicy water. gone was the dynamic complexity that transported me back to my two weeks in Thailand far too long ago.

On top of it all, the waitstaff was completely inattentive.

I guess all good things do come to an end and so too has Sripraphai's run as the best Thai experience in NYC. So where to next?

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  1. Hmm, Sri has always been the best "all-around" thai restaurant for me, but some others prefer chao thai in elmhurst.

    I think you have to have 2 bad meals there before you can declare the place "over." I've had a couple of not good takeout meals from them in the past, but always followed by a sublime meal.

    Am heading there for lunch on thurs--will check out the decline.

    3 Replies
    1. re: missmasala

      Eek - I hope not! I'm going there with my girlfriend after I pick her up from the airport in a few hours; I will report back as well.. All was good as of the last time we grazed there, but the only time we go is post-airport since it's right off the expressway..

      1. re: Suzukiguy

        sure it was a onetime aberration. things happen, chefs get sick etc.
        good luck!

        1. re: Suzukiguy

          Mondays and Tuesdays are the best days to eat at Sripraphai. At least in my experience.

      2. I have to agree. I also got takeout from Sripraphai this past Sunday and it was as mediocre as I've had from them in a while. But my meal there two weeks ago was one of the best I've had. I usually avoid the place on crowded weekends, and the kitchen seemed very rushed on Sunday. I wouldn't write off Sripraphai just yet. The variation in quality has been my experience for several years, especially since they expanded the space. Luck and timing may have something to do with it. But it you want an alternative, give Ayada, Chao, or Zabb a try. Many of the other Thai places nearby, like Center Point, Ploy, Rumphool, Boon Chu, Nusara, and even My Thai are also worth a visit.

        3 Replies
        1. re: E Eto

          second Ayada. Tho i've yet to have a bad experience at Sri.

          1. re: E Eto

            E Eto, your top-tier and second-tier recs match mine almost exactly (except I haven't been to center point yet).

            1. re: bigjeff

              finally ate at Thailand's Center Point!
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/700528#

              -----
              Thailand's Center Point
              63-19 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

          2. I have been going to Sripraphai for many years as well, prior to their expansion. I ate there last week. It's still wonderful.

            Have I had bad experiences there? Sure. But no restaurant is perfect. Do I ever think the service is good there? No. Does their fried calamari vary wildly? Yes.

            All in all, a real restaurant is an organic thing, if you want utmost consistency then go to MacDonalds.

            Sripraphai is better than Rumphool by a country mile, better than Sweet Basil. If you are looking to try another place that's one thing, but even if 10 people stated that Sripraphai was going downhill I wouldn't think much of it because I eat there every week and it's consistently good. Considering they seat hundreds of people a day, you just might have one bad meal. I understand your concern and I have felt the same way about other restaurants I love, but in this case, Sripraphai is remarkably consistent. I don't eat at Jean Georges nearly as much, but my hit/miss ratio there is much, much worse for many times the price. I'd rather have an $8 bowl of curry that's "meh" one day, then spend $125 for a meal that may or may not impress me.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Pookipichu

              I will never go back to rumphool because they don't have a bathroom and we had to use the one at the McDonald's Express a few doors down. Food was aight.

            2. I go about once ever two weeks and have been going at least once a month for the last 7 years.. Things seem fine to me..

              1. Thanks everyone. While it was a bad experience, I'll hope it was a one off. I will be looking forward to try some of the other recs.

                2 Replies
                1. re: gordoma

                  Agreed with E Eto. Ayada or Zabb.

                  1. re: j0cy0223

                    I called Zabb wed night to place an order for pickup and asked for the mock crispy duck salad and was told as of a week before, they had new owners and a new menu and no more mock-duck. I've seen them go through different owners but still have the same chef before so I'm not sure what this will mean.