Before setting up shop in New York City, the original Somtum Der brought authentic Isan (Northeastern Thai) cuisine with a contemporary twist to the heart of Bangkok's busy Sala Daeng district. Located in the East Village, the NY outpost features a well lit interior with long communal tables and a counter area with red stool seating that looks into the kitchen. The somtum (papaya salad) station with it's jars of ingredients used to dress their signature dish is also on full display. We started with the Tum Thai, their original style Thai Spicy Papaya Salad made with green papaya, limes, tomato and chilies. It was bursting with bright fresh flavor with a generous amount of heat coming through even though we opted for a mild level of spice. The Moo Ping Kati Sod, grilled coconut milk marinated beef skewers served with nests of coconut scented vermicelli provided a brief respite from the heat which returned with the Pad Ki Pork and Basil, a stir-fried rice noodle dish that featured a balance of bold flavors topped with pieces of yummy crispy basil. If you're a fan of spice, this place definitely delivers as regional Isan dishes are known for a good amount of heat and I had read that they toned it down here for Western palates. The guy at the table next to us was sweating and turning red as he polished off dish after dish so clearly there are people who like the spice. We enjoyed everything that we tried and I would return to explore more of their menu. The portions aren't huge but they're reasonable for the price and we had good friendly service. Are you a fan of Thai food? How about spicy food?
85 Avenue A (5th & 6th)
New York City
The lucky winner of the Spring Beauty Giveaway is Kim of A Very Sweet Blog. Congratulations Kim! I have a new natural beauty giveaway coming up next week on Earth Day.