6 at Astor Pl.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Rivington St. to 19th St., Sixth Ave. to FDR
This venue is closed.
The first test of any Thai restaurant is whether or not the staff puts out chopsticks--Thais traditionally use forks. Thailand Cafe fails that test, and also compromises with the food to please middlebrow-American tastes and expectations. The peanut satay sauce is rich, thick and spicy, but the chicken it's served with is bland and dry; the summer rolls are a refreshing medley of crisp vegetables, mint, and mango, but are jarringly topped with fried jicama; and the dessert menu includes shamelessly inauthentic (but thoroughly enjoyable) fried ice cream. On the other hand, the jungle curry isn't shy about being spicy, and is sure to raise a sweat, though the lime leaves and galangal are almost non-existent, leaving what tastes like a black-pepper broth. A good choice is the drunken noodle--broad rice noodles with egg, chili, onion and basil--which gets the ideal balance of sweet, salty, sour and spicy just right. Appearance-wise, the decor follows the now-standard Asian-fusion MacBook aesthetic: Simultaneously retro and futuristic, bright hues playing off gleaming white plastic. Gone is the garish neon sign that once bathed this bustling East Village block in a sickly green light.Recommended Dishes
Shrimp pad kee mao, $10