Sun-Thu, noon-11pm; Fri-Sat, noon-midnight
N, R at Prince St.; 6 at Spring St.
Grand St. to 3rd St., Orchard St. to West Broadway
The disparate design of this funky Nolita cafe combines floral stenciling à la Laura Ashley, diner-style red leather booths and Formica-topped tables, an old wooden soda fountain–era bar, and an antique cash register. Though an unlikely backdrop for Thai cuisine, the chic boutique trawlers crowding the spot don't think twice about the offbeat pairing. Noodle and rice dishes, like classic pad Thai and spicy green curry, are the favorites, though the menu also offers a handful of meat and fish entrèes and a broad selection of carefully crafted small bites. Like the restaurant’s trappings, the food’s contrasting flavors are nicely balanced. A spicy shredded papaya salad with tomato, red onion, avocado, peanuts, and long beans is a study in textures; the avocado adds a welcome softness and richness among the crisp fruit and crunchy nuts and veggies. Firm fried tofu squares are nicely seasoned with a sweet and fiery chile glaze, and freshness marks the summer roll, its shrimp, rice noodles, and mint leaves soaking up an agreeably tart tamarind sauce. Gluey “hobo” noodles are the only disappointment. Keeping with the theme, desserts—like blueberry bread pudding and carrot walnut cake with English custard—are unexpected and worthwhile.Lunch
Lovely day gets lovelier: The “Lunch Set,” served from noon to 5 p.m., offers a choice of ginger fried chicken with rice or a combo of any noodle dish, dumplings, and edamame, all for a ten spot.
Dining room downstairs is open for dinner and accepts Visa, Mastercard and Discover (upstairs is AmEx only)
Reservations are accepted for parties of 4 or more
Spicy papaya salad, $8; fried tofu with sweet chile sauce, $5; summer roll, $8