78 E. 1st. St. East Village/ Lower East Side 212-777-2552
206 Bedford Ave. Williamsburg, Bklyn
This cozy, kitschy Thai eatery– and its Williamsburg pendant– offer a fair variety of noodles, seafood dishes and stir fries for its size. Though the menu is generic, the output is average to above average for what you pay. The decor is a charming cross between Thai pop culture and movie memorabilia and traditional Buddhist touches. At the Manhattan location, the tables are comfortably arranged along two pale red windowed-brick walls.
Thrilled at learning that the waitresses’ placement of a lunch special menu was not a mistake, I partook in the lunch menu. I ordered the Gang Dang with vegetables and tofu (red curry with eggplant, bamboo shoots and bell peppers and basil leaves). Although it didn’t quite have the bite I expected from a red curry, it still had some kick and the basil gave it spikes of aroma and flavorful vapors. The rice was displayed in an inverted cone and was mildly sticky and light and served at the right temperature. The eggplant was fresh and not overcooked. The rest of the vegetables were also good with the exception of one partially yellowed broccoli floret. I thought it impudent to complain about a dish that cost only $5.95 and was largely enjoyable.
My lunch mate ordered a mild version of the Pad Kana Num Mun Hoi (not a lunch special). Though the spice factor was overwhelmingly mild, the dish was tasty and the vegetables were very fresh. The portion was large and at $9.95, a great deal. Overall, a nice casual place to have pretty good traditional Thai food at bargain prices. It’s a good place to go to before hitting very nearby Sunshine Cinema.