Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bangkok House

Bangkok House - 360 West 46th Street

We were in Hell's Kitchen, searching for a place to eat. Tickets for Evil Dead, the Musical (no, I'm not kidding) lay nestled in our pockets...and we had an hour to get our fill. We started the search, wandering through the neighborhood. Real Pam Thai was crowded. A few blocks down, its sister establishment--Real Pam Thai Encore--looked...well, too glitzy. Delta Grill was packed. So we headed to Restaurant Row, a street I knew well. (10 years ago, I'd lived on the corner of 46th/9th...with a great view of the street life in a time before Disney had moved in, and cleaned up the neighborhood.) Little Saigon—a tiny Vietnamese eatery—was gone, leaving an even smaller sushi bar in its place. We continued down the street...uninterested in House of Brews, and even Hourglass Tavern (though I know the owner, who's a great lady.)

We ended up at Bangkok House. It looked comfortable, and just the right amount of full* – so we took the plunge - and the experience was good. Without a wait – either for table or service – we took our seats, ordering a fried shrimp appetizer, Yum Woosen and Bangkok Steak (a house specialty.) Encased in a crispy cylinder of batter, the fried shrimp were tasty and light – without a hint of grease. The Yum Woonsen was mine – salad topped with a tangle of fiber thin glass noodles and peanuts. Though the dressing lacked complexity, it had a strong, pleasant lime flavor. And I'm happy to report that they took my request for spicy seriously – this dish had some heat. My husband (that carnivore) enjoyed the Bangkok steak...though wishing it had a little less spice. (But hey...that's his palate!) The sauce on the steak was especially good – tangy, with a hint of pepper...even tasty when used to season the remaining white rice. Okay, so the dessert menu was non-existent, offering the American Thai default of ice cream or grilled banana. So we went for the check. With dinner and three drinks, the tab came to $44. Not bad for a night out at the theater, in the middle of Manhattan. Good service, tasty food... No, Bangkok House isn't my usual hole-in-the-wall haunt, with balls to the wall authenticity and grubby decor. But a good time was had – and I have BH to thank. (Well, and Evil Dead, too...but that's another story.)

*You know the drill – not too crowded, but with enough people in attendance that you trust the cuisine.

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