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May 24, 2011 11:00 AM

Som Tum at Rod Dee -- hallelujah!

I haven't been blown away by many dishes at Rod Dee, although I'll admit I haven't given it a thorough workout. The flavors have veered towards the sweet, and the spice and balance hasn't been there. The crispy fried chicken pad thai is great, but c'mon, it's fried chicken. It doesn't really count.

Today I picked up the som tum (green papaya salad) and ordered it spicy. As I waited I noticed that the older lady in the back was smashing up my salad ingredients in the mortar and pestle ... a good sign. Got the salad home and BY THOR'S BEARD it is wicked spicy! Lots of chilis bashed in with the peanuts, dried shrimp and fish sauce. Crispy papaya shreds, little cherry tomatoes, carrots and more peanuts on top. Great great balance of flavor and fresh as can be.

This makes me want to go back and try more. I hadn't felt that way before. So what other dishes have others had success with lately?

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  1. YES!! I really liked the som tum at the old Beacon location, and when you ask for it spicy, it could really have a pleasantly strong kick. The Washington Sq location so far hasn't brought the heat for me when I've gotten it there, but it's been a limited sample so far!

    For a while, I was on a Massaman curry kick. It's not extra special, but it's comforting on a cold night :) I tend to get the tub of it for take-out (i.e., not the combo/plate that comes with rice), and we add some extra shrimp paste at the table.

    1. That sounds great YY (not too sweet, I gather?). Please say this was at the Cambridge location! (If so, I'll head there for lunch this week.) I almost never eat som tum 'round these parts, which is a shame since, to me, it's the perfect hot weather dish. Especially when they bring on the spice!

      2 Replies
      1. re: digga

        I got it a couple weeks ago from the Cambridge location. The appearance was identical to OP's, and to my (perhaps unrefined) palate, very tasty!

        1. re: digga

          Hey diggs, this was indeed at Porter. And I didn't have to stand on my head or use any secret code words or implore them for the real deal. I asked for it spicy and it was. I really hope this wasn't a fluke -- and that you too can get it spicy and sour like I did. It is perfect warm weather food.

        2. Boat noodles, yum wun sen, spicy pat-pong have been good--I added extra chili flakes but then I generally do. Crispy spicy squid rice plate was ok but the chicken was better. I order in person, at less busy hours, and stress "very very very spicy," and have not received unspicy food there.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Aromatherapy

            Asking for your dish "Phet phet" will also yield extreme spiciness (and if they are Thai, a glint in the eye recognizing that you really do want the hot stuff...).

            1. re: Prav

              You pronounce "phet" like Boba "Fett?"

              1. re: emannths

                Closer to "pet". Just a liiiiiittle aspiration/softness in the "p".

                1. re: emannths

                  Halfway between 'Fett' and 'Fate'. The Ph is halfway between a P and F sound.

                  1. re: Prav

                    What? No "Seafood Phuket" jokes yet ;)