Genuine Northeastern (Isaan) Thai in NYC - Somtum Der...
Bringing Genuine Isaan Flavors to New York
Genuine Northeastern (Isaan) Thai in NYC - Somtum Der
Located on what remains a hardscrabble stretch of Avenue A (two homeless men snoozed in the doorway as I entered), the name of the new place refers to the shredded green-papaya salad that has long served as the gateway drug to Isaan food in NYC. Indeed, there are a mind-boggling eight versions of somtum here. I ordered the flagship, a version that incorporates brine-preserved chicken eggs that develop an agreeably creamy flavor. The salad ($11) was mellower than I've tasted before, swimming in a sweetish orange dressing, the tendrils of papaya more soft than crunchy. You really ought to order some sticky rice to mix with the dressing. Other somtums showcase fermented fish sauce and baby crabs, grilled pork neck meat, and Thai-caught mackerel. There's a vegetarian rendition, too.