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Rod Dee Porter Square: Progress?

I noticed this morning that there's now a sign up at the new Rod Dee location in Cambridge, and it looked like there might be menus posted (I was across Mass. Ave., so couldn't get a good look.) I had begun to think that nothing was progressing there, so this is very encouraging!

Does anyone know anything more about when they might actually open?

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  1. Do you know the address or approximate address?

    Rod Dee and the addition of a Super Fusion III really ups the chow in Porter Sq., the small spots in the Exchange notwithstanding.

    Super Fusion
    690 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02446

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bob Dobalina

      Rod Dee will be at 1906 Mass. Ave (between the Indian restaurant and Wok 'n Roll - aka worst Chinese restaurant name).

      Where is Super Fusion III?

      Super Fusion
      690 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02446

      1. re: Stride

        Thanks, Stride.

        SF-III is in the old Seoul Food location - 1759 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA.

        Massachusetts Avenue Restaurant
        906 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

        1. re: Bob Dobalina

          Thanks - I thought I'd seen SF somewhere! Have you tried it?

          1. re: Stride

            Why yes, I have! They have something of an abridged menu - only a few special rolls for example - but the prices are cheap, cheap - and the quality is fine. It's a little bit cafeteria-style if you eat in - paper plates and plastic cups - grab a can of soda out of the open fridge case if you like - not sure if that's how they are going to roll permanently or whether they are still in start-up mode. The gal serving has been the same one a couple of times and is super-cheery, greeting us one time with a hearty, "Are you hungry?" I am a fan of their Watertown location so, it's nice to have one closer....

    2. Walked by today... signs are on the building. Inside is looking good -- tables and chairs are out in the dining area and 3 guys were inside chatting by the counter. Hope they get the paper off the windows soon and open their doors!

      1. Anyone been by there recently? I wish their website had info about this location.

        2 Replies
        1. re: maillard

          I went by there on Monday and they were not open yet.

          1. re: jgg13

            I went by it last night. Not open, though it looks very close.

        2. I figure this will show up in the December Opening & Closing (hopefully it's not January!), but has anyone been by recently?

          4 Replies
          1. re: jgg13

            I called today-- they will open sometime next week!

            1. re: baldbert

              awesome news. Where did you find their contact info?

              1. re: jgg13

                I called their Brookline (I think) shop. Got the number from their website.

                1. re: baldbert

                  Ah, that makes sense. Didn't think to try the other one :)

          2. Stopped by a little while ago and they were open. It still smelled a little of varnish and I just picked up a menu, but was able to tell them how I'd missed the Rod Dee since I moved from Brookline. Yay!

            7 Replies
            1. re: cindywho

              Double yay! Do you have a phone number for the new Rod Dee? Thanks!

              1. re: cindywho

                Wonderful! There's my first New Year's resolution!

                1. re: Stride

                  Confirmed: Thai food has arrived!!!

                  Steady stream of take-out orders coming out of the kitchen tonight (including ours) and a few customers eating in.

                  Diagnosis: Delicious!

                  Phone 617-374-9252. www.roddee.net The menu says they deliver. Hours M-Th 11-10:30, F/S 11-11, Sun noon-11.

                  1. re: chilibaby

                    Saw the lights on tonight but didn't have time to stop in. The space looks cute and welcoming (I personally like eating in for Thai and Chinese since I feel like so much of the taste is dependent on the time from the pan to the plate). What did you have?

                    1. re: digga

                      Agree when it comes to fish and anything fried -- we'll have to go back for those.
                      We got a duck red curry, drunken noodles, beef salad, and nam sod. All were delicious and traveled home just fine.

                      1. re: chilibaby

                        Talk about progress - you could never have eaten food so far ranging and delicious nearly anywhere in the U.S. 30 years ago, much less get take out duck curry! Just a little new year's perspective...amazing.

                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                          Bob, thanks for that though, just think of trying to have the discussions and debates that fill this space about the best Thai or a really good Pho even 20 years ago. The options were few and the audience limited.

                          Beginning the year with appreciation of what we do have is an excellent idea.


              2. Went to the Porter Square Rod Dee last night, having never gone to the other location, and was frankly disappointed after the build-up. We had the Duck Red Curry, Larb and Pad Thai. One companion also had the TomYum soup. The curry was easily the best dish, but could have definitely used a few more pieces of duck. The soup was okay, but nothing special. The larb really lacked the bright flavor that larb should have -- it had enough lemongrass and lime juice, but really needed more herbs. The pad thai really lacked the 'wok hai' that makes a pad thai great (and yes, we did eat in) -- IMO, the version at Sugar & Spice is better. While it was quite serviceable, it was really nothing special and doesn't warrant a special trip.

                Sugar & Spice Restaurant
                1933 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

                4 Replies
                1. re: yumshen

                  Sugar and Spice is better? With all due respect, that's crazy talk.

                  1. re: baldbert

                    I've found Sugar and Spice to be inconsistent. Sometimes they are remarkably good, other times not so much. Their country-style pad thai can be quite good. At first, I was not terribly fond of them, but I had a string of very good meals there when my Thai mom was visiting last summer.

                    1. re: baldbert

                      I really could never take a shine to Sugar and Spice, I found it pretty bland all the time. I always gave my Thai food business to Tamarind House, which has my favorite Pad Kee Mao in the area. (Crazy Noodles.)

                      I usually ask for Prik Pon or red pepper on the side nowadays. I guess they do that in Thailand as well, although I didn't notice myself.

                      Tamarind House
                      1790 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

                    2. re: yumshen

                      How did it compare to Pho 'n' Rice?

                    3. of those of you who have been to the porter rod dee; what do you think that i should order for my first visit?

                      29 Replies
                      1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                        I had the spicy eggplant and tofu. It was delicious, though not all that spicy. Those tiny sliced chiles they have fixed that problem nicely, though.

                        Kao Nar Ped has been my favorite dish at two other Rod Dee locations, but I haven't tried it in Porter yet. Soon!

                        1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                          Chicken Gra Pao (Sp). Ground chicken w/ Thai basil. Basically a Thai Sloppy Joe over rice. Ask for it spicy. Simple and richly flavored.

                          1. re: baldbert

                            tried rod dee; the food was super and much superior to Sugar and Spice that i considered only so-so.

                            One minor problem: the parking lot behind the restaurant is not adequate. If you have a cambridge sticker you can park 2 blocks away. I do not know how dangerous it would be to park in the mall across the street; i would not do it.

                            1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                              I think you will be fine to park in the Star Market lot for an hour, unless you mean dangerous in terms of getting dings in your car, in which case I would avoid it. There is also a fair amount of metered parking up and down Mass. Ave.

                              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                Just depends on how crowded the market is, and if the attendants are watching.. park, walk into the CVS, and out the other door facing Mass Ave... at least make a pretense you are shopping.

                              2. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                I tried it for the first time a few days ago and liked it a lot. I had one of the house specials (Royal Tofu maybe?) - tofu squares under minced pork, with rice. Subtly savory and delicious! My only caveat is that they are cash-only, although perhaps they take credit cards for larger orders. Best to check first.
                                (As for parking, I also warn against parking in the shopping center lot. If you have a Somerville permit, you can park on Elm on the other side of the lot.)

                                1. re: Stride

                                  I asked about credit cards - they are not taking them for the foreseeable future. What's the concern about the shopping center lot?

                                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                    1. towing 2. moral hazard: it is only for people using the shopping mall

                                    i am a cambridge resident and will be able to find free parking a few blocks from there; I was merely alerting others about the problems.

                                    The GM also told me: cash only with no plans to change. That should not be a big deal; there is a bank of America nearby.

                                    1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                      That is the worst parking lot ever.

                                  2. re: Stride

                                    Tried it just after it opened and we had tod mun (fish cakes), the drunken noodles (with seafood) and a tom yum soup bowl with ground chicken. I don't know much about Thai food (though I have eaten a lot of it) but it all seemed good to me. The guy at the counter was very friendly and helpful. I went in there politely asking for a hot noodle dish and he recommended the drunken noodle (which has a name I don't remember and that's what they use). Of course, it was not remotely spicy (add me to the list of people who struggle with convincing restaurants to give them something hot; maybe I just need to start saying, it was nice but no, it was not hot enough, and repeat). However the dish was neither greasy nor too sweet, and the vegetables were very fresh, which I thought reflected some higher preparation standards than other local Thai places. The tom yum soup got a good review and I can say the fish cakes were good but I have a preference for the ones down the road at Pho 'n' Rice.

                                  3. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                    That parking lot has long been infamous, and I doubt things have changed. If you must, be very conspicuous about walking into a mall business. Parking can be OK in 2-hour spaces a few blocks down Elm (toward Union).

                                    1. re: Aromatherapy

                                      That's exactly what I do ... if I need to park there and pop into a nearby business (eg: Bob Slate down the block) I make a BIG DEAL about waltzing into Tags first to show I'm shopping there, before skulking around the corner to Bob's. But I know they will tow, so buyer beware.

                                      1. re: Aromatherapy

                                        Can't say I've ever seen anyone getting towed from that lot (and how would they get a tow truck in there without completely shutting down the already insane traffic flow?)
                                        I have also parked there tons of times with no problems to go to places across or down the street. As Bob Dobalina pointed out, the bigger issue is that the lot is very tight and crowded leading to the chance of dings or parking lot rage.

                                        1. re: nickls

                                          Oh they tow. Yes indeedy they do tow.

                                          Where is the authorized parking for the restaurant? Behind where the parking for Passage to India is? That's a small lot fo sho.

                                          1. re: yumyum

                                            I know they used to walk around with chalk and mark tires to keep track of time on parked cars. The spaces were widened some years ago but they are still too small. Sometimes I take two spaces in an attempt to save my car, but then people yell and scream at me like I knocked an old lady down. The turning lanes are infuriatingly tight. They just need to bulldoze the whole thing and start over.

                                            Check out this picture I took of a 90 year old lady trying to park there.

                                            1. re: tatsu

                                              Oh YOURE the guy taking two spots! I'd yell at you too! But SRSLY the lot is a disaster.

                                              1. re: yumyum

                                                Oh YOU"RE the gal keying my windshield! So reporting you to the parking trolls when you go to Bob's next time!

                                                1. re: yumyum

                                                  Actually the parking structure where Pier One could be an option? Park, walk in and through Anna's or whatever and do the walk of shame to get your pencils...

                                                  1. re: tatsu

                                                    Been there. Done that. There is a crrraaaazzzyy parking monitor in that lot. Hounds beware. He will cut you.

                                                2. re: tatsu

                                                  Parking skills aside, the lady in that photo looks FANTASTIC, especially for a 90 year old!

                                              2. re: nickls

                                                I can say that I have seen people getting towed more than once. I have also seen my own door get dinged. That parking lot is a nightmare.

                                                1. re: Gabatta

                                                  I park there a lot and agree on the towing. In fact once I pulled in to a spot next to a car being towed and the driver of the tow truck took great pleasure in winding his window down and telling me in that "I'm doing you a favour telling you this" way that yes, this is what happens if you stay too long in the car park.

                                                  1. re: chickendhansak

                                                    Wow, I guess I lucked out. I pulled into one of the "30 minute" spots, just to grab some take-out from RD the other night. Although, I must have been in there for less than 5 minutes.

                                                    I think I ordered wrong. I just looked at the RD online menu only, and ordered some basil chicken and a red curry dish. I even asked for the red curry to be "extra spicy". The result: as bland as I've ever had it. I need to look up past RD threads and find out what they do well there. If I based it just on this one visit, I would pick Tamarind House over Rod Dee!

                                                    P.S. I agree that Sugar and Spice is the worst.

                                                    Tamarind House
                                                    1790 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

                                                    1. re: chickendhansak

                                                      I'm not so irked by the time limits as by the fact that they (used to?) nab parkers who departed the mall. Not sure if this still happens but it did at one point. No interest in being a test case myself.

                                                  2. re: nickls

                                                    Oh, I have seen cars towed out of there, including towing all-wheel drive cars with a standard tow truck rather than the necessary flatbed (which they wouldn't be able to get in there), thus ruining the car they're towing.

                                                  3. re: Aromatherapy

                                                    The T station is virtually across the street from Rod Dee. Buses up and down Mass Ave are some of the most frequent in Cambridge. Don't drive there. Where do all you people live, anyway? Buy and shop and eat local.

                                                    1. re: BerkeleyPowerGrip

                                                      We live about 1.5mi from Rod Dee. We generally get takeout for Thai. Public transport would render our dinner ice cold, not to mention that with a 14 week old at home time is precious.

                                                      We eat local and also prefer to eat hot. We walk and use public transport whenever feasible, so kindly save that rap.

                                                        1. re: Gabatta

                                                          Let me urge you to eat out when your baby is a little bit older, i.e. able to stay on the tabletop in the car seat thingy, because at some point at little farther than that in the future you will not be able to eat out with a toddler!

                                              3. We had takeout from Rod Dee Porter Square last night, and it was every bit as good as their Brookline location (without having to cross the river). The red curry w/ shrimp large portion is good enough for two meals, and just enough spicy kick for myself and not too spicy for the wife. In contrast to the Beacon Street location, there is seating easily for 50 inside a brightly lit dining room. Don't forget: Cash only!

                                                To respond to all the parking concerns: I ended up finding a spot on the street in front of Anna's on Somerville Ave, but it did look like there were a couple spots along the fence behind the Rod Dee building (I did not do any more recon than that).

                                                1. We ordered from them and were quite pleased with the spice level and flavor of the food. The man on the phone couldn't have been nicer. He did double check that I wanted it extra spicy and chuckled when I confirmed the spice level.

                                                  We ordered the papaya salad (really fresh and still crunchy) that was just delicious. Not quite Thai spicy but just about as spicy as khao sarn or Dok bua. We also ordered pork larb, chicken green curry and beef pad see ew (the one nonspicy dish, although they put in a container of hot sauce in the noodle package). Also, the white jasmine rice was perfectly cooked and fluffy.

                                                  I'm so happy this is in the neighborhood.

                                                  51 Replies
                                                  1. re: beetlebug

                                                    is there anything off menu (or on menu) that people really love here. The food I had was great, and i only wonder what i should order on my next visit.

                                                    1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                                      I forgot to pick up a menu and looked on line for my initial order. Sorry about the lack of more info.

                                                      1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                                        I love the kao nar ped and have a hard time ordering anything else. I also like the pad kee mao and spicy eggplant and tofu (though I found the latter to not be spicy enough).

                                                        1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                                          At the original location of Rod Dee, several years ago, they had a Thai-language menu, which eventually appeared on their Web site. I don't speak Thai and I'm not really so good at reading alphabetic languages, so I didn't ever get to order from that. The website linked above is not the one I remember, and the old one is still around, listing three locations that I believe no longer exist.


                                                          ~ Kiran <entropy@io.com>

                                                          1. re: KWagle

                                                            great; i can print this thai menu out and bring this in and point! Thanks; i assume that i will be a regular at Rod Dee after my first experience.

                                                            1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                                              How will you know which things to point to? Or will you just work your way through the thai menu? If you happen upon anything particularly good, please report back!

                                                              1. re: maillard

                                                                my plan is to point at something and ask if it is good; the GM will translate for me; he seems like a friendly and knowledgeable guy.

                                                                I will be out of town for the next week.

                                                                1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                                                  If they even sell those dishes anymore... Take detailed notes and post translations. I wonder whether Google Goggles could translate those menus.

                                                                  1. re: KWagle

                                                                    Several years ago, I used to live across the street from Rod Dee 2 in the Fenway nabe. I used to semi-regularly take great guilty pleasure in their "fried chicken pad thai" which was located only on the hand-written whiteboard of specials. It was a stupendously tasty bird, top notch fried chicken in the city. I always thought of it as such a barbaric and bastardized Ameri-Thai dish, which I would eat only in the privacy of my apt, with great shame.

                                                                    Last night I happened to poke my head into the New Rod Dee in Brookline (1671 Beacon St). Haven't been to a Rod Dee for at least 6 years, but first question out of my mouth was if they still had the fried chicken pad thai. The guy's eyes lit up, and he excitedly pointed me to the hand-written specials board where, much to my surprise, was the dish in question, the *only* dish on the specials board that was without an English translation. They were closing down for the night (takeout only) so I never did get to try it, but grabbed a menu on the way out and, lo and behold, right on the front of the menu, their slogan: "The original spicy crispy chicken recipe." Seems as though it's a matter of pride for them. I look forward to trying it out again.

                                                                    I will also see if I can get a friend to translate those menus above that Wagle posted, thanks.

                                                                    1. re: Nab

                                                                      Oh, man, I hope they have this at the Porter location. If they do, I know what I'll get when the next opportunity for takeout comes up.

                                                                      1. re: Nab

                                                                        is that the same fried chicken they put on their Indonesian fried rice? really good

                                                                          1. re: Nab

                                                                            Thanks for that rec - had a couple of drinks after work, and got the fried chicken pad thai for a hangover preventer - darn good stuff, as noted above.

                                                                            Place was packed when I went in around 8pm - I think every table was filled. Sorta felt bad for the Indian Pavilion next door - mostly empty.

                                                                            I am not entirely sure how much better the chow is at Rod Dee vs. Tamarind House a few blocks down - I have sampled one curry from RD and I preferred TH's green curry by a long shot.

                                                                            But definitely still in the data gathering stage. :)

                                                                            Tamarind House
                                                                            1790 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

                                                                            1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                              I would say TH is underrated. They do nice home cooking in a pleasant casual dining atmosphere while RD does pretty good street food. Not a knock against RD - the street is some of the best you can get in Thailand.

                                                                              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                I got the green curry once at one of their other locations. My recollection is that it was heavy on the coconut milk, light on the curry. I switched to non-curry stuff and have been much happier.

                                                                                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                  I thought I'd post pix of my first meal from Rod Dee. I ordered the fried chicken pad thai and my favorite, Tod Mun. The chicken was delicious, nicely fried, still juicy inside. The pad thai was too sweet for me, but then again most pad thai's are. I like Dok Bua because they don't go too sweet, rather they might err on the side of sour. Neither is ideal as Thai food should be a good balance, but if I have to choose, I'll go salty, umami or sour every day.

                                                                                  The Tod mun (fish cakes) were GREAT! They look a little bit wizened and listless in the picture but they are very spicy with a great bouncy texture. Highly recommend.

                                                                                  One point of confusion ... there is fried chicken pad thai, and spicy crispy chicken. Is the spicy crispy a whole different animal, or do they just amp up the spice in the regular chicken to make it spicy?

                                                                                  1. re: yumyum

                                                                                    If I recall correctly, the spicy crispy chicken is the fried chicken tossed in a spicy sauce. Really good.

                                                                                    1. re: BJK

                                                                                      less of a sauce than tossed in a combination of hot peppers; spicy, but more Boston hot than Thai spicy, but I thought it was tasty.

                                                                              2. re: barleywino

                                                                                I tell ya, I'm (only now) realizing that Thai places do fried chicken well. Thai Bistro in the FD does the best wings i've ever had, hands down. A total pleasant surprise.

                                                                                1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                                                                                  The fry job at Dok Bua has always been excellent as well.

                                                                              3. re: Nab

                                                                                Thank you, thank you for the pointer to the spicy crispy chicken, it was a big hit this afternoon (we got the platter, not the pad thai). Also the boat noodles (ordered w/tendon) and papaya salad were as solid as ever. We ordered "Thai spicy" and nobody was reaching for the condiment caddy. (We asked if there was a special Thai menu and were told there wasn't.) I am SO glad they're on this side of town now. Must try Tamarind House though.

                                                                                Tamarind House
                                                                                1790 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

                                                                                1. re: Aromatherapy

                                                                                  Beef boat noodle broth was amazing w/star anise & tang. Spicy, crispy chix and pork belly dishes soooooo good. The papaya salad, crunchy, spicy & overall delish!

                                                                      2. re: KWagle

                                                                        Some recos from a Thai chef I know on facebook.com (FYI to CH Moderators, it's a "social media" website.)

                                                                        Boat noodle soup with crackling/cloudy cow blooded soup.
                                                                        Tom Yum Moo noodle - with ground peanut, ground pork.
                                                                        Kana Moo Gorb... Stir fried chinese broccoli with crispy pork belly on rice. Madness.
                                                                        (I have had this in Thailand they call it Morning Glory. My pic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tatsuuuu...)

                                                                        1. re: tatsu

                                                                          Kana Moo Gorb - friggin a' - gonna bastardize that dish and make me some brussels sprouts and bacon over rice soon. ;)

                                                                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                            Nice but bacon is a far cry from that pork belly.

                                                                            1. re: tatsu

                                                                              the bacon that we westerns know is cured pork belly

                                                                          2. re: tatsu

                                                                            I think the Porter Rod Dee has Kana Moo Gorb on their rotating slideshow of dishes. It looked so amazing! Definitely going to order that next time I go...

                                                                            1. re: tatsu

                                                                              ka na moo krob is fried pork belly with chinese broccoli. "ka na" means chinese broccoli and "moo krob" means crispy pork (pork belly). morning glory is another name for water spinach and is called "pak boong" in thai

                                                                              i had the ka na moo krob at the new rod dee and it was quite good. it's not on the menu but just ask for it and they will gladly make it for you

                                                                              1. re: galangatron

                                                                                can you confirm that my picture is pak boong?

                                                                                1. re: tatsu

                                                                                  it looks like chinese broccoli to me. water spinach has hollow stems

                                                                                  1. re: galangatron

                                                                                    I agree that it looks like kana. Pak boong has very different leaves and stems.

                                                                                    I went to Rod Dee a few days ago and the man behind the counter said that they were willing to make anything that I could think of. The Rod Dee in Fenway was my favorite place for pak boong in Boston, so of course I asked for it...and they said they didn't have any because it had been out of stock at the market. T_T I will keep my fingers crossed...

                                                                                    BTW, he said that they will have a board up behind the counter soon with a Thai menu.

                                                                                2. re: galangatron

                                                                                  Any hints on where to get Morning Glory (aka water spinach) done in a Thai style in the greater Boston area? I fell in love with this veggie in Thailand when I visited and haven't seen it since :(

                                                                                  There are so many dishes I miss actually...

                                                                                  One I still swoon over was an eggplant dish where (purple eggplant, not the little thai ones) they made horizontal slices in a brown sauce flavored with a little ground pork (may have been a black bean type of sauce, couldn't tell and didn't care it was so good). Truly amazing but would never sell here because stupid American's insist on lots of meat in any dish that lists meat as an ingredient and if a dish leads with a veggie it has to be vegetarian.

                                                                                  1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                                                                                    I have had the eggplant dish you mentioned at Qingdao and I think Wang's may also make it - I have seen it called Peking-style Eggplant. And I think it is pretty close to what you described. Not too much meat, at least in the one from Qingdao.

                                                                                    1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                                                                                      Mary Chung, obviously not Thai, has had water spinach on their specials. They do it in just a garlic sauce as well as in a fermented bean curd sauce which was fabulous!

                                                                                      Mary Chung Restaurant
                                                                                      460 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                                                                      1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                                                                                        any thai or cambodian restaurant should have it

                                                                                        it's usually only available during the summer when it's fresh (despite the fact that you can purchase it year round at almost any asian market) but sometimes you can find it listed as a special. s&i thai had it a few weeks ago but, unfortunately, it's no longer available

                                                                                        my favorite prep of water spinach is the cambodian dish cha tra koun sach jruk (water spinach with pork). a simple stir-fry with sliced pork or pork belly and water spinach in a light brown sauce. the old floating rock in revere used to make an amazing version of this dish. i miss it

                                                                                      1. re: barleywino

                                                                                        BTW, any thoughts on what sort of spicing / herbs / etc. go into the mix with the crispy pork and broccoli? Still thinking of making my bacon and brussels Thai-style.

                                                                                      2. re: tatsu

                                                                                        My food at rod dee today reminded me of this thread.

                                                                                        I've had difficulty of late getting them to make things from the thai menu. There's always some excuse which often sounds like they just don't want me to have it (although considering the language barrier, it's also totally possible that it's legit). The most recent being nam khao tod where I was told they "didn't have the rice".

                                                                                        I was going to try to ask for this dish today, but lo and behold it was actually on the specials board. She warned me at least a half dozen times that it was spicy and asked me if that was ok. I assured her it was fine. It turned out to be a pleasant heat - normally I crank my dishes there up hotter than this one but it was at least hot enough that I didn't run for the condiment tray. Somewhat annoying that this level of heat warrants multiple warnings :-/

                                                                                        Anyways, yes it was quite good and I'm hoping to have it again soon.

                                                                                        Before I hit reply, I just read the subthread below about kana vs pak boong & the "morning glory" name. This was called "stir fried morning glory" on the specials board and looking at pictures was definitely pak boong.

                                                                                        1. re: jgg13

                                                                                          I didn't know they had nam khao tod. Perhaps if they had made this more clear, I would have spent more money there over the years, instead of driving to DC where they cook me the food I want to eat.

                                                                                          1. re: KWagle

                                                                                            There was a thread about them having it a while back. Not long before that thread one of the suggested I try that when they were out of something I wanted.

                                                                                            That particular guy (chubbish w/ a beard) is the only one who tends not to give me various excuses for thai menu items, as evidenced by the time when he actually whipped out the thai menu to find me a decent alternative when something from their specials board was out.

                                                                                      3. re: KWagle

                                                                                        This menu looks delicious! I've been busy at work but I'll try to post translations when i have some time. Just so that people at least know what the sections are:

                                                                                        Going clockwise from the image with the bell pepper:
                                                                                        One-dish meals (i.e., it's a stand-alone dish)
                                                                                        Fried rices
                                                                                        (more) Entrees
                                                                                        Yums (Thai salads)

                                                                                        1. re: khanom

                                                                                          I stopped by last night to look at the menu and took some pictures of their current Thai language menu which I should get around to posting somewhere if I can figure out how to get them off my jailbroken iPhone. They claimed they plan to translate it.

                                                                                          Since I no longer trust an English-language menu to have dishes I'll enjoy, I ordered an appetizer that one of the other tables had, which apparently wasn't on any menu. It was a deep-fried chive dumpling in a rice flour skin (I'm a big fan of deep-fried (presumably glutinous) rice flour dumplings at Chinese restaurants) and was pretty good, though a bit overpriced at $7, though most of the goodness was in the deep fried outsides rather than the chive filling.

                                                                                          1. re: KWagle

                                                                                            The chive dumplings are on the menu in the Washington Sq location (though I can't remember exactly what they're called- maybe "chive dumplings"?) It might be on the "specials" board.

                                                                                            And it will be great if they offer a more bilingual approach! I've never understood why they have a separate Thai menu in the first place, since their English is very good and it seems like a bilingual menu would be easier to manage.

                                                                                            1. re: another_adam

                                                                                              Yes, my recollection from a couple of weeks ago was "Chive Dumpling" as well (on the specials board). I recall they used to do a very good version of this (kui-shy-tod / kûy châi thâwt), and it was available in the steamed option too, which was actually my preference at the time. Montien also has an excellent (air-light) fried version ($8).

                                                                                          2. re: khanom

                                                                                            Sorry this took so long--things got crazy for a bit and I'm still under a deadline, but I seriously needed a break :P

                                                                                            If I could think of a more familiar name/description for the dish in English, I included it below. I don't really pay much attention to the English to the menus at Thai restaurants, though, so anyone is welcome to chime in with a more familiar phrase/description if they have one.

                                                                                            Going clockwise from the image with the bell pepper:
                                                                                            - Khanom Jeeb (Thai version of Shumai)
                                                                                            - Tod Mun Plaa (Fish cake)
                                                                                            - Khanom Gui Chai (Chinese chive dumpling)
                                                                                            - Giew Saa
                                                                                            - Po Pia Tod (Fried spring roll)
                                                                                            - Tohu Tod (Fried tofu)
                                                                                            - Gai Satay (Chicken Satay)
                                                                                            - Beek Gai Tod (Fried Chicken Wings)
                                                                                            - Khanom Krok Chow Wang
                                                                                            - Khao Grieb Bak Maw-Saa Ku
                                                                                            One-dish meals (i.e., it's a stand-alone dish)
                                                                                            - Pad Gra Pao Moo/Gai/Neua Rad Khao (Pad Gra Pow Pork/Chicken/Beef over rice)
                                                                                            - Pad Gra Pao Talay Rad Khao (Pad Gra Pao Seafood over rice)
                                                                                            - Pad Gra Pao Moo Daang/Moo Grob Rad Khao (Pad Gra Pao Red Pork/Crispy Pork over rice)
                                                                                            - Pad Gra Pao Ped Rad Khao (Pad Gra Pao Duck over rice)
                                                                                            - Khao Kai Jiew Moo Sub/Goong Sub (Thai omelette with minced pork/minced shrimp)
                                                                                            - Khao Moo/Gai/Neau Tod Gratiem Prik Thai (Garlic Pork/Chicken/Beef with rice)
                                                                                            - Pad Prik Gaang Tua Moo/Gai/Neau Raad Khao
                                                                                            - Pad Prik Gaang Nau Mai Moo/Gai/Neau Rad Khao
                                                                                            - Khao Nar Ped Palo
                                                                                            - Khao Nar Ped Yaang
                                                                                            - Kanaa Moo Grob Rad Khao
                                                                                            - Kanaa Moo/Gai/Neau Num Mun Hoi Rad Khao
                                                                                            - Pad Prik Yuak Moo/Gai/Neau Rad Khao
                                                                                            - Khao Moo Daang/Moo Krob (Red Pork/Crispy Pork over rice)
                                                                                            - Khao Moo/Gai Ob
                                                                                            - Pad Ghiem Chai Moo/Gai Sub Rad Khao
                                                                                            - Pad Khing Sod Moo/Gai/Neau Rad Khao
                                                                                            Fried rices (so Khao Pad = fried rice so I'm not repeating myself over and over)
                                                                                            - Khao Pad Amarin
                                                                                            - Khao Pad Indoo
                                                                                            - Khao Pad Naam
                                                                                            - Khao Pad Moo Daang (Bbq pork)
                                                                                            - Khao Pad Moo Krob (Crispy Pork)
                                                                                            - Khao Pad Goon Chieng
                                                                                            - Khao Pad Num Prik Pow Moo/Gai/Neau
                                                                                            - Khao Pad Grapow Moo/Gai/Neau
                                                                                            - Khao Pad Kra Pow Moo Daang/Moo Grob (Red Pork/Crispy Pork)
                                                                                            - Khao Pad Sapparot (Pineapple)
                                                                                            - Khao Pad Mun Goong
                                                                                            - Khao Pad Num Leab Moo/Gai
                                                                                            - Khao Pad Plaa Deum
                                                                                            - Pad Khing Sot Moo/Gai/Neau
                                                                                            - Pad Ped Plaa Duk (Catfish)
                                                                                            - Pad Ped Plaa Meuk (Squid)
                                                                                            - Kai Yiew Ma Gra Paow
                                                                                            - Gai Krob Pad Bliew Waan (Sweet and Sour Crispy Chicken)
                                                                                            - Gai Krob Pad Met Mamuang (Cashew Crispy Chicken)
                                                                                            - Kanaa Moo Krob/Plaa Kem (Chinese broccoli with Crispy Pork/Salty Fish)
                                                                                            - Pad Boi Sien
                                                                                            - Pad Prik Gaang Tua Moo/Gai/Neau
                                                                                            - Pad Ped Nau Mai Moo/Gai/Neau
                                                                                            - Pad Pak Boong Fai Daang (Stir fry morning glory)
                                                                                            - Pad Kanaa Num Mun Hoi (Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce)
                                                                                            - Moo/Gai/Neau Tod Gratiem Prik Thai (Garlic Pork/Chicken/Beef)
                                                                                            - Plaa Rad Prik Saam Rod
                                                                                            - Pad Grapow Gai Tod/Moo Tod (Pad Grapow with fried chicken/fried pork)
                                                                                            - Pad Poong Karee Talay
                                                                                            (more) Entrees
                                                                                            - Thom Khaa Gai
                                                                                            - Pad Pak Ruam Mit
                                                                                            - Tom Yum Ruam Mit
                                                                                            - Gaang Pa Moo/Gai/Neau
                                                                                            - Gaang Daang/Kiew/Penang/Ped Bed Yaang (Red/Green/Penang/bbq duck curry)
                                                                                            Noodles (Guay Thiew=noodles)
                                                                                            - Guay Thiew Num Ped Yaang (Bbq duck soup)
                                                                                            - Guay Thiew Num Ped Palo (5-spice duck soup)
                                                                                            - Guay Thiew Num Luk Chin/Neau Sod (Meatball/Fresh beef soup)
                                                                                            - Guay Thiew Num Luk Chin Plaa-Talay (Fishball/Seafood soup)
                                                                                            - Guay Thiew Tom Yum Rod Saab Moo/Gai/Talay (Tom Yum soup with Pork/Chicken/Seafood)
                                                                                            - Bamee Num Moo Sub/Moo Daang (Yellow noodle soup with minced pork/bbq pork)
                                                                                            - Bamee Num Luk Chin Plaa/Talay (Yellow noodle soup with fishballs/seafood)
                                                                                            - Guay Thiew Yen Ta Fo
                                                                                            - Sukiyaki Num/Haang (Sukiyaki with/without soup)
                                                                                            - Guay Thiew Haang Soong Krueng Moo Sub/Talay
                                                                                            - Guay Thiew Raad Naa Moo/Gai/Neau
                                                                                            - Guay Thiew Raad Naa Talay
                                                                                            - Guay Thiew Pad See Iew Moo/Gai/Neau
                                                                                            - Guay Thiew Pad See Iew Talay
                                                                                            - Guay Thiew Kua Gai
                                                                                            - Guay Thiew Neau Sub (Minced beef)
                                                                                            - Guay Thiew Pad Kee Mao Moo/Gai/Neau (Drunken noodle pork/chicken/beef)
                                                                                            - Guay Thiew Pad Kee Mao Talay (Drunken noodle with seafood)
                                                                                            - Goi See Mee
                                                                                            - Guay Thiew Pad Thai
                                                                                            Yums (Thai salads)
                                                                                            - Yum Moo Yau
                                                                                            - Yum Woon Sen
                                                                                            - Yum Talay
                                                                                            - Yum Goon Chieng
                                                                                            - Yum Naam Khao Tod
                                                                                            - Yum Sai Grok
                                                                                            - Yum Neau
                                                                                            - Yum Plaa Meuk
                                                                                            - Plaa Goong
                                                                                            - Larb Moo/Gai/Neau
                                                                                            - Som Tum Boo/Som Tum Thai
                                                                                            - Moo Tod/Gai Tod
                                                                                            - Khao Niew (sticky rice)

                                                                                            Anyone is welcome to chime in with corrections or questions :)

                                                                                            1. re: khanom

                                                                                              This has to be one of the coolest posts I've seen in the 10 years I've been on CH

                                                                                              1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                And, generous. Thank you that is above and beyond the call of Chowhound duty. I'll copy it into my phone.

                                                                                              2. re: khanom

                                                                                                That is awesome, thank you. Here is a dish that one of the cooks came up with after the counter woman and I came up with an idea. I wanted crab meat curried thai omelette on top of rice but they only had soft shell. So we did a soft shell and topped that with a yellow curried omelette and it was dynamite. Requisite lousy cell phone pic.

                                                                                                1. re: khanom

                                                                                                  Wow I have a lot of things to try! Thanks.

                                                                                                  1. re: khanom

                                                                                                    So there seems to be a healthy overlap with the "english" (ie not in thai script) menu - anyone got favorites that are thai menu only?

                                                                                          3. Dinner was really, really tasty (my choices have been well covered on the board already), but here's the kicker: they fry little donuts to order for dessert, dust them with a bit of sugar, and serve them piping hot with a milk-and-honey sauce. YUM.

                                                                                            1. Don't get delivery from this location. The other night was quoted 45 min and the food came 1 hour and 40 min later!! We were strung along on the phone with "he'll be there within 5 minutes" several times. After all that they didn't even waive the $3 delivery charge. I would have refused the delivery, but you know how a hungry wife (or husband) can be...

                                                                                              If delivery isn't reliable, this place's stock really drops as there is no convenient parking for pickup.

                                                                                              We are still figuring out the menu based in part on recs here, however in 2 experiences so far it really hasn't been that much better than out local go to which is Pepper Sky in Central Square. If I am going to drive to pick the food up, I'd rather hop over to S&I which is the same time drive from where we are in Cambridge.

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Gabatta

                                                                                                If you're just going in to pick up, parking in the Shaw's lot should be no problem. They're not that fast. Also don't forget about the lot behind the Porter Square Mall (where Pier 1 is located)--I think there's even less monitoring of that lot.

                                                                                                1. re: Gabatta

                                                                                                  What night was that, out of curiosity? We ordered takeout from a different place on Friday and it was delayed too, but that was because of the huge storm that swept in suddenly. Was it possible you experienced the same problem?

                                                                                                  1. re: hckybg

                                                                                                    friday and saturday can be a zoo there; it is much more reasonable the rest of the week. they have a lot behind them that can be used especially if you are just running in and running out.

                                                                                                  2. Went tonight for a sit-down meal. They claimed that most of the items on the Thai menu were now translated as "special dishes" on the paper menu and the whiteboard. I was steered to the "spicy pat-pong" which was flavorful but not particularly hot even though I ordered it extra spicy. The sticky rice and mango and pad see you my friends ordered were also quite good. But I do have to admit, I've been spoiled by the complexity of spicy Sichuan food, and the simple heat of Thai food may no longer do it for me. I do want to try some larb and related dishes again, though,

                                                                                                    24 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: KWagle

                                                                                                      Pat-pong? I do not know the translation but isn't "Patpong" one of the red light districts in Bangkok?

                                                                                                      1. re: tatsu

                                                                                                        And it wasn't hot enough for him.

                                                                                                      2. re: KWagle

                                                                                                        that's why you take part in the condiment tray that they offer

                                                                                                        1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                          I don't consider dumping chili oil (or most spices) on my food after it’s cooked to be a very good way of flavoring it correctly. If the cooks don’t know how to make a dish hot when they cook it, I'll take my money elsewhere.

                                                                                                          1. re: KWagle

                                                                                                            The heat is crushed pepper called Prik Pon and it's very hot, and I sprinkle it very liberally on my Pad Thai. I don't even ask for "country style" anymore, I actually prefer it on top. And I think Thais do to. I have some at home, I call it "magic fairy pixie dust".

                                                                                                            Perhaps you are a bit obsessed with heat in your dishes.

                                                                                                            1. re: tatsu

                                                                                                              Took the words pretty much out of my mouth.

                                                                                                              Having spent a decent amount of time with a handful of thai families in a past life, I can tell you that they pretty much sprinkled that stuff on everything - even their home cooking.

                                                                                                              I suppose they just didn't know how to cook though, you know, they didn't do a proper job in the first place and had to go add heat afterwards.

                                                                                                              1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                Perhaps I am a bit obsessed with actually getting what I wanted, what I ordered, and what I paid for.

                                                                                                                Sprinkling dried spices on top of a dish certainly has a place, but it's not a substitute for spices properly balanced and cooked into the dish in the first place.

                                                                                                                And you're right, it could be that the Thai families you spent time with didn't know how to cook. That's common everywhere, not just in the US.

                                                                                                                1. re: KWagle

                                                                                                                  But you'd think that they know how to cook to their own tastes, no? So if they're adding stuff on after the fact, that's something they *wanted* to do.

                                                                                                                  Maybe what you ordered & paid for just isn't what you wanted. Maybe you're expecting something that is unreasonable.

                                                                                                                  While Thai food can be hellaciously hot, not everything is supposed to be that way.

                                                                                                                  1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                    Sure, *they* may want to do that. I don't.

                                                                                                                    Ad if it's not supposed to be hot, marking it with two peppers and claiming it *was* hot would be kind of stupid.

                                                                                                                    1. re: KWagle

                                                                                                                      Can we be reasonable? You're saying I, the customer, my preferences and tastes are better than the country of Thailand and so restaurants should do what I say.

                                                                                                                      It seems pretty ugly American for a guy who spends a lot of time learning Chinese. Just sayin

                                                                                                                      Prik Pon has a lovely and delicate character on it's own, almost phenol. it would get totally lost smothered in sauce and cooked away.

                                                                                                                      This is more or less traditional Thai, not have it your way at BK. Just go with it man!

                                                                                                                      1. re: tatsu

                                                                                                                        I'm saying a restaurant that repeatedly tells people dishes are hot and spicy and then delivers dishes that are barely warm and not very spicy in other non-capsicum ways might be a poor representation of "the country of Thailand."

                                                                                                                        Most Chinese restaurants are a poor representation of the foods of China. That's *why* I took the time to learn to read.

                                                                                                                        1. re: KWagle

                                                                                                                          give KWagle credit; it is the HOSPITALITY business; the customer should be right most of the time.

                                                                                                                          But usually once i get to be a regular; the waitstaff and kitchen are more flexiible. They do not want to burn a client by making the food to hot.

                                                                                                                          1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                                                                                                            What puzzles me is that as I posted apparently in a different thread, I thought I was speaking to the owner, and complained that both I and other people were ordering extra-hot food and getting mild to medium food, and also thought she understood that I wanted the dish i ordered to be both hot and spicy. It still came out only medium-hot.

                                                                                                                            1. re: KWagle

                                                                                                                              No matter that I've never been to the place before and am white and don't speak Thai, if a dish is listed as being medium-spicy I expect it to be at least a *little* spicy.

                                                                                                                              Besides, this restaurant's in Cambridge, not some mythical boonies. Do they really think the clientele'll be scared off by a modicum of heat?

                                                                                                                            2. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                                                                                                              Oh, I don't want to discredit K at all, I enjoy his enthusiasm and posts. I just think you should stop banging your head on the wall after a while.

                                                                                                                              I'm pretty enthusiastic about Chinese food of course, but a girl from Beijing I was dating last year put me straight when she said, "If you want authentic Chinese food, go to China."

                                                                                                                              1. re: tatsu

                                                                                                                                Just to throw another data point out there, went for dinner last night. The only item we ordered that was supposed to be spicy was the papaya salad, but it was significantly spicier than the previous versions I've had there.

                                                                                                                                I don't know if there was someone different cooking last night, or they got the message, but it was gloriously spicy and quite yummy.

                                                                                                                                1. re: tatsu

                                                                                                                                  I'm thinking about carrying some ghost peppers in my pocket, and then when someone asks me how hot I want my food, I can offer them one and say "try this, and make it about that hot."

                                                                                                                                  1. re: KWagle

                                                                                                                                    KWagle, back in college, I had a friend from Milton and we'd make a "run for the border" for some late night tacos. He would put on a few drips of the "Mild" sauce and after a bite or two would be literally fanning his mouth because of the heat. And we would all gawk - like, seriously, dude? It's like ketchup.

                                                                                                                                    Point is you could just have a remarkable tolerance for spicy, esp. if you are talking ghost peppers - compared to the rest of us mere mortals...

                                                                                                                                    And I think that's a great idea to get across how truly hot you want the food.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                                                                      At one time I might've had a remarkable tolerance, but not anymore. And from what i've read in this thread and/or the other one, I'm not the only person who thinks this particular restaurant doesn't deliver much heat no matter who asks or what they ask for.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: KWagle

                                                                                                                                        Despite being an opponent of yours here, I don't fully disagree with you as I agree with your last statement. I just think that you're taking your conclusions too far

                                                                                                                              2. re: KWagle

                                                                                                                                While I have not eaten at this specific restaurant, I must object your statement that a Thai restaurant is not properly representing their country if their food is not 5 alarm spicy. This is actually a stereotype of Thai cuisine and has nothing to do with the widely varied and beautifully balanced flavors of the country.

                                                                                                                                My husband and I spent 20 days in Thailand for our honeymoon eating our way through the finest restaurants to the humblest of street carts and open market "restaurants" and I can tell you that while the Thai people love their heat, it is FAR from the only thing they love. The thing that they prize most highly is the BALANCE of salty, sweet, sour, and spicy! We were lucky enough to take a day long cooking class at The Blue Elephant in Bangkok, where the the head chef waxed poetic for nearing 45 minutes on the importance of balancing flavors and how the street food of Thailand was giving the entire cuisine a bad rep by being too focused on heat.

                                                                                                                                At the open market "restaurants" and other non-high end shops, table condiments were pretty much always available and included peppers and fish sauce and other ways to tweek the food your liking. This does not mean all the Thai cooks of Phuket, Chang Mai, and Bangkok were all bad cooks because they did not spice the food to the level YOU like before they served it, it means that this is how the Thai people as a whole prefer to serve their food, which is spiced to a well balanced level for that dish and then leave you free to crank up the heat as you wish.

                                                                                                                                The only exception to this was street cart food, which was pre-made and you weren't expected to sit around there to eat it and doctor it to your liking, so for those dishes, if they wanted it hot, they made it 5 alarm, period. I like heat, but there was a stir fried frog dish that will live in infamy in my family, in that my husband could not manage it and I had to switch dishes with him....the "veggies" for the stir fry were a mixture of sliced bird chilies, sliced red chilies, and fresh green peppercorns, with no other veggies for relief, save some garlic! I'm still surprised I managed to finish it.

                                                                                                                                Lastly, I have to mention that spicing food with fresh peppers is NEVER a precise science. Depending on the time of year, the age of the fruit, and even just the environment from one farm to the next, the spiciness of a specific type of pepper can vary wildly! 2 bird chilies that made a Tom Yom soup unbearable the day before may make the soup only medium today. While I agree that chefs should always taste their food, sometimes correcting a dish can be very hard. especially when it's something like a stir fry where when you discover it is too mild, throwing in more raw pepper would mean making the rest of the dish mushy while you wait for the new peppers to cook. People also forget that if a pepper is hot enough, it can actually give you chemical burns and other real damage (aggravate stomach issues, induce vomiting, etc.) and frankly a lot of people who claim they like "spicy" really can only handle American level spice, so with those two very real issue in mind, you can't blame the chef for being reticent to make your dish ultra spicy and taking the safer route of making your dish American hot and letting you crank the heat on your own.

                                                                                                                                Sorry, I'll stop ranting now :)

                                                                                                                                1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                                                                                                                                  I'll buy your characterization of how Thai food is served in Thailand, as I've never been their myself. But then the restaurant shouldn't ask how spicy you want the food--just do it the "right" way. If they ask (or accept the request), they shouldn't ignore the request just because it's not traditional. It's like asking someone how they want their burger cooked and then refusing to serve anything other than medium. At the very least, recommend to the customer that they get it "medium," and if they customer insists, honor their request.

                                                                                                                                  FWIW, I haven't had any problems getting fiery ka prao at Pad Thai Cafe. I haven't had a chance to challenge Rod Dee though.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: emannths

                                                                                                                                    Maybe you should try the Fight Club line..."I want you to hit me as hard as you can..."


                                                                                                                                    Edit a copy of the East Coast Grill release for the Pasta from Hell so you can drive the point home...


                                                                                                                                    1. re: emannths

                                                                                                                                      Fair point, but only up to a certain level. If a burger joint says how would you like your burger cooked, and you say "raw with a refrigerator cold center", the restaurant will not do it and will give it to you rare. The customer is always right, right up to the point they ask you for something that may be an open liability for your business. Again, I have not eaten here, so the dishes may indeed be wimpy, but since the OP said he wants his food as hot as Ghost Peppers, I don't think I am wrong in presuming that the level of heat he wants served to him is a open liability to serve most Americans and I respect the chef reluctance to "give him what he paid for". Again, at a burger joint the customer may want and pay for food borne illness level raw, but that doesn't mean I the line cook am into S&M and want to harm my guests even if they pay me for it.

                                                                                                              2. Got takeout last night and I have to say I was disappointed. Everything was just sort of not-exciting. The eggplant with tofu wasn't spicy at all despite having two peppers on the menu. That makes no sense to me. The crispy chicken with mango had so much sweet sauce it de-crispified the chicken. Masaman curry with chicken was okay, not exciting, not much substance. Bah.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: djd

                                                                                                                  Sounds like you got American style'd for ordering American dishes.

                                                                                                                  1. re: djd

                                                                                                                    i've been twice, and this is consistent with my experience. rather disappointing, given the hype.

                                                                                                                  2. Just thought I'd toss in another data point.

                                                                                                                    I visited two days ago, motivated entirely by the translated Thai menu above, and left very pleased. This was Thai food unlike any I've had in the area, reminiscent of my only other experience with these sorts of dishes, at Sripraphai in Queens.

                                                                                                                    We had the boat noodle soup with beef. Explosively flavorful, spicy (but only just so), accessorized with all manner of loud condiments--it tasted like Pho meets mole.

                                                                                                                    But more to the point. When I tried to order Yum Naam Khao Tod (what eventually came as a salad of chinese sausage and fried rice ball), the young guy who was taking my order looked at me like he had no idea what I was talking about. He pronounced my written phonetic translation to himself a few times and declared they served no such thing. Then an older woman came over and interceded. They do serve it, as it happens, and she was very pleased to find me doing so. She asked whether a Thai person had sent me, and confirmed that I wanted the dish spicy.

                                                                                                                    Well it was. I counted three different kinds of chili in the dish--fresh bird chilies, dried toasted (bird?) chilies, and a chili flake-based sauce loaded with seeds. It was very, very spicy, and fantastic. There were little bits of ginger, red onion, fried shallot, lemongrass, cilantro stem, peanuts, mint, and who knows what else. And it was really spicy.

                                                                                                                    So just saying: maybe the complaints registered on this board have gotten through to them, and they'll now actually cook spicy for food for a gringo?