Thailand’s South Gets Its Due in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Lately, when it comes to Thai food in New York, the spotlight has been on the spice-fueled cuisine of the Isan region, in the northeast. But the restaurateur Kittigron Lertpanaruk, also known as Khun Oh, is from the south, where curries dominate, and he feels it’s time to give that part of Thailand its due. His new restaurant, decorated with red hanging lamps, gilded Buddhist statues, temple bells and carved wood panels, features a long list of curries. They include cua kreang, a dry curry; gaeng kua, a black pepper curry; and tiplah, a salted fish paste curry. But Mr. Lertpanaruk, who founded the chain of Asian restaurants called Spice and who recently became a partner in Arun’s, a highly regarded Thai restaurant in Chicago, also knows what’s popular, so the menu has dishes like crispy spring rolls, tom yum soup, pad Thai, green papaya salad, satays and mango salmon.

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Why Adda Could Be the Most Exciting New Indian Restaurant in New York

“Even the late Anthony Bourdain — as dedicated to singing his hometown’s praises as he was to ferreting out great food no matter where it hid — could not offer much enthusiasm for New York City’s collection of Indian restaurants. “I cannot recommend any Indian restaurant in New York,” he told Vogue India last year. “I’ve been spoiled.” While the excuse feels somewhat lame, and Bourdain may have been forgetting some standout spots, it’s telling that his comment went more or less overlooked by New York’s legion of culinary defenders, largely because they tend to overlook the city’s Indian restaurants, too — and rarely give the cuisine the same respect that’s afforded to others.

That’s not to say New York City is actually devoid of great Indian food, but it is true that Indian chefs in New York have a difficult time breaking through to mainstream awareness. Adda, which just opened, but is still hiding in Long Island City next to a 7-Eleven and across the street from CUNY’s La Guardia Community College, may be one new restaurant that helps move the needle. The room is so bare-bones casual that it can feel like dinner at a friend’s house that comes with a bill at the end, and an all-day student special takeout lunch box costs just $6.43, but the cooking by chef Chintan Pandya is likely to open more than a few eyes to what “Indian” cooking can really be.”

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