I always love going to eat with my friend Sumi, because he finds the best Thai places, and they’re always so delicious and so, so cheap. He lived in Thailand for a long time, and so he knows the food and the language very well, which lucky for me, translates into him knowing the right spot to get an authentic Thai meal. Not only that, but he loves to tell you about all the fascinating elements of food and culture in Thailand, so the dinner is always a fun experience.
Last time I went out to eat Thai food with Sumi, we were in the Chelsea area and so went uptown to Wondee Siam, one of their multiple locations. I felt like Scarlett Johansen in Lost in Translation (my favorite movie after The Godfather), because there was no English being spoken, just a frenzy of everything Thai happening around me. The food was incredible, so I suggest trying that restaurant out as well. This time, Somtum Der yielded a significantly more modern atmosphere, but equally as delicious food. Sumi said that one mark of a good Thai restaurant is that the food will be un-apologetically spicy, just as it is in Thailand. The menu is mostly in Thai terminology, but everyone there speaks English just fine, so you can ask a bunch of questions.
I think that the best way to go about this meal is to order up 2 or so plates per person and to share. We got fried chicken (amazing), crispy beef dishes, and another dish with beef and noodles that was incredible. Also, if you go, their Thai iced tea is amazing, as is any one of their many papaya salads. The one we got was so spicy, with bits of fried pork in it. I could make a meal of that every day.
And if you were wondering, yes, we did indulge in their $20 bottle of prosecco… it just felt right. Food and drink for days, an I mean a real feast here, and the total came to about $25 per person after tax and tip. I’ll certainly be back! It’s more of a ‘friends’ spot, super casual, etc., but an amazing one at that!
Where: Avenue A, between 5th & 6th Streets: | How Much: $8-10 per dish, total about $25 per person with drinks. Credit cards and reservations accepted.