As we reported on Aug. 1, the Bangkok-based Somtum Der is opening its first U.S. restaurant at 85 Avenue A, home of the former Lantern Thai Kitchen. Somtum Der is currently in soft opening mode...
Fork in the Road had a preview last week:
Thanaruek "Eh" Laoraowirodge has been feeding the people of Bangkok somtum der, a version of green papaya salad that's native to his hometown of Khon Kaen in the northeastern Isan region of Thailand. "Thai people like to eat this kind of food," he explains. "We focused on the authenticity of papaya salad. Most papaya salad in Bangkok adjusted to the Bangkok palate."
Meanwhile, over on Third Avenue at East 12th Street, Han Dynasty is also in soft-open mode... this is the first New York outpost from Han Chiang, the Sichuan master with six restaurants in Philadelphia. A few details on the space via Zagat:
[U]nlike some other hot Asian spots (hello, Mission Chinese) the venue skips a purposely hip decor in favor of a no-frills room.
And about those dishes: the more, the merrier. The menu is affordable, and after we asked for the check, we pulled a "actually, can we see a menu again," and ordered a second round of appetizers and entrees.