Ugly Baby

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92 Excellent

Brooklyn’s — if not New York’s — best Thai restaurant.

407 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY, 11231


Known For

The lowdown

At first you think that the entire dining room has a cold. But then you notice that the dazed expressions, eye-tearing, and nose-blowing are accompanied by the telltale flush and trickle of perspiration that can only signify serious, wanton capsaicin consumption. Yes, heat freaks, Ugly Baby is Thai-spicy. It’s also the much-celebrated return of chef Sirichai Sreparplarn, who first won a following at Red Hook’s short-lived Kao Soy and Chiang Mai. His single-page menu is a streamlined selection of dishes drawn from all over Thailand, some of which you probably haven’t encountered before: a first sweet, then hot mushroom-pineapple curry with fragrant lime leaves and thin planks of tofu; sea bream with a turmeric-and-garlic rub that’s scraped off before the fish is deep-fried, fried separately, then reapplied like frosting on a cake; mini-muffin-like coconut-milk cakes embedded with black beans and taro, slicked with tamarind-chile sauce, and scattered with crushed peanuts. All this means hot competition for front-runner Queens in the Thai-food-destination contest.

Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite

What you need to know

DrinksBeer and Wine

Noise LevelCivilized