Queens’ Best Thai Restaurant Will Expand to Manhattan

“If you were to draw up a map of the city’s essential restaurants, you’d have to include Ayada. The Elmhurst spot is, some argue, New York’s best place for Thai food, and an anchor of a local community that’s blossomed around it. A decade after opening, the food remains invigoratingly great and the space unquestionably charming. Owner Duangjai “Kitty” Thammasat remains totally committed to the restaurant; when she travels, such as to visit Thailand, her sisters help run it. It’s a bit of a surprise, then, that Thammasat will expand out of Queens and into the Chelsea Market this fall.”

“The second Ayada will be in the location of the old Chelsea Thai, a 1,300-square-foot space with seating for 45. The designer is the same one behind the original restaurant, Thammasat’s longtime friend Francisco Diaz. “We’re trying to save as much of the essence we have here already,” says her daughter Ayada Thammasat. (She did compromise with the Market’s operators on an open kitchen, something she’s meeting them halfway on.) “She likes how the restaurant is now and she wants people to, I guess, incorporate themselves into her culture, as well, instead of her changing too much of it.”

Read more here.

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