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Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Since I mentioned SriPraPhai in my previous post, I thought a fuller mention was in order. This is a place any serious fan of Thai food should know about. From what I understand, it's considered to be one of the best, if not the best, Thai restaurant in the country. For you outer-borough-phobes, just get over yourselves and GO--15 minutes on the 7 train, and in the evenings 61st St. is an express stop, so you'll be there even faster.

First things first: I am not particularly a fan of Pad Thai (I just don't find it to be that interesting a dish), so all I can say about the Pad Thai here is that it's okay. I tried it, it tasted like Pad Thai, big deal. Friends who are Pad Thai fans say it's not all the great in the grand Pad Thai scheme of things. Couldn't care less. Everything else I have tried here is great-to-spectacular.

I see no point in describing the dishes--if you know Thai food, you pretty much know what to expect from the menu listing, and if you don't know it, you figure it out quickly--with one exception. Perhaps the best dish here, for my taste, is the "fish topped with curry sauce". (For those of you clever enough to have already clicked on the restaurant website link below, it is F-6 on their menu.) With all fish dishes, one has a choice of whole red snapper or two sizes of sea trout filet, but the real star is the sauce. Behind the unassuming moniker of "curry sauce" is thick, complex, indescribably delicious concoction that has, since I have been coming here, gone under at least two other names in the history of their menus--"choo chee curry" and "brown curry". Do not miss it under any cirumstances.

After that, I'll just list some personal favorites, but it's almost impossible to go wrong here:
  • ground meat salad, or larb (A-13. Specify "beef"--I think it works better in this dish than ground pork)
  • B.B.Q. pork salad (A-9... gotta love a cuisine that takes a ground or barbecued meat, adds a little greenery, douses it with chili, mint, shallots, and lime juice and calls it salad!)
  • papaya salad with dry shrimp & peanut (A-1)
  • shredded green mango salad with shrimp, squid & chicken(A-4)
  • broiled catfish salad (A-43)
  • pork leg with mustard greens over rice (O-1)
  • roast duck green curry (C-25)
  • any red curry (C-24)

And... hmm... it appears there are some relatively new items in the curry section of the menu that I need to try! At least one of your rices should be a coconut rice--it's particularly delicious with the fish with curry sauce.

For fans of "my ass is on fire!"-level spiciness, you can try to convince your waiter to tell the kitchen to make it "Thai spicy". Even then, most of the time they don't believe you and don't do it, but occasionally it works. Their normal spiciness level is quite manageable for the average palate.

One important thing to remember before making the trek to Woodside: they're closed Wednesdays.

64-13 39th Ave., Woodside 11377
(7 train to 61st St.-Woodside or 69th St. It's one-half block north of Roosevelt Ave., between 64th and 65th)

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