- Critics’ Pick
- Thai $20-$26
7 Spring St.
New York, NY 10012
- Neighborhood: Nolita
- Phone: 646-370-6650
“I think I had this in Chiang Mai once,” said one of my diners as we took fanlike betel leaves and wrapped them around a mix of chiles, peanuts, and dried shrimp (mieng kum, a traditional snack). No one, however, had seen anything quite like the creamy, smooth black-crab dip called lon pu kem (which is made with a leavening of ground pork and coconut cream and garnished with fresh vegetables for dipping), or the fried frogs’ legs (kob tod katiem pik Thai, for the record; see here), which the kitchen serves over lemongrass and herbs. These delicacies were followed by a tower of roasted chicken tossed with banana blossoms and shreds of crispy shallots (yum kai hua pli), and spicy, lime-soaked laab salad, made here with lamb instead of the usual pork, which we washed down with bottles of frozen Chang beer.
The cooking at Uncle Boons lacks the scholarly intensity of Andy Ricker’s northern-accented Thai menu at Pok Pok Ny, near Red Hook, and if you’re searching for properly spicy regional curries and the endless, rainbow variety of fish dishes and hot-sour soups that characterize great Thai cooking, Queens is still the borough for you. But for a quick tourist’s fix of this great Southeast Asian cuisine, you could do worse than a platter of home-cooked-style crab fried rice, topped with sprigs of fresh coriander, or the classic massaman curry, which Danzer and Redding prepare with softly braised beef ribs (order with a fresh, buttery roti pancake on the side). The lone house dessert is a decorative and cooling cococut-ice-cream sundae, which is big enough for three and crowned on its frothy whipped-cream top with candied peanuts, drifts of toasted coconut, and a single sugary tea cracker, just like in the old ice-cream parlors of Bangkok.
- Adam Platt’s Where to Eat 2014 (05/01/13)
Mon-Thu, 5:30pm-11pm Fri-Sat, 5:30pm-midnight Sun, 5:30pm-10pm
Bar Scene Dine at the Bar
Beer and Wine Only