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NYC

Review

SriPraPhai

$$$$
Thai  in  Queens / Woodside
BK
Written by

A New York success story, SriPraPhai (pronounced see-PRA-pie, we think) was the brainchild of a Thai nurse turned appliance store owner turned baker turned restaurateur. Initially a small, hole-in-the-wall spot, the place has since expanded into a larger space to accommodate the masses. So if you show up during prime feeding time, be prepared to take a number and wait outside.

The menu at SriPraPhai is as thick as a Bangkok travel guide, featuring dishes from all over Thailand, from North’s signature khao soi to a few pages of seafood dishes commonly found in the South. Waiters hustle through the space blindly -- so no walking and texting -- and food is served when it is ready, regardless of how much tabletop you have available. With prices ranging from $5 (steamed dumplings) to $17 (soft shelled crab), nothing here will cost you too much. And that’s ideal, because this is the kind of place where you’re going to want to order big and eat even bigger.

Food Rundown

Som Tum (Papaya Salad)

Sweet, sour, salty and hot. The key flavors to any Thai kitchen, this salad hits on all four. Refreshing despite some strong heat, this is among the best papaya salads in the city. Go for the variation with crispy ground catfish on top if you want to change it up.

Spring Rolls

Like a lot of the go-to Thai dishes you order here, these won’t necessarily blow you away, but they’re definitely a step above your delivery standard. They’re flaky, crispy, and, maybe most importantly, not overly greasy.

Tom Yum Shrimp Soup

This hot and sour soup falls a bit short. Overall it’s a tad on the sour side, and the mushrooms lack any discernible flavor.

Beef Laab

Tender, salty beef balanced against crispy red onions and lots of lime juice. If you like your laab hot, do not be afraid to ask your waiter for some extra heat, as the dish served without instruction is relatively painless. But remember, there is a difference between “American hot” and “Thai hot,” so order accordingly.

Green Curry

Curry at SriPraPhai is a must. This one is our particular favorite, thanks to eggplant that is perfectly tender, with just enough crunch to avoid being mushy. Despite some solid kick, the dish maintains a nice balance of flavors throughout. Do not be shy with your sticky rice, either: clump up a ball and soak up those juices.

Fried Soft Shelled Crab

Served up a few ways, each one offers different toppings, but at the end of the day, the lightly fried crab does the heavy lifting. We prefer the one with chili, garlic, and basil leaves, but any one will do the trick. Works as a cold leftover too.

Sweet Sausage Salad

Initially a recommendation of our waitress, and now something we order on every visit. If you’re not familiar with sweet sausage, it is exactly as it sounds - bites of sugary-sweet pork, served over a bed of crispy cucumbers, onions, chilies, and lime juice. Order some.

Drunken Noodles

If your standard Thai order includes drunken noodle (or the equally ubiquitous pad thai or pad see ew), then by all means, get some here, just do not expect to have a religious experience. It’s all good, with fresh, nicely cooked noodles, and a noticeable lack of grease on the plate, but you won’t come back begging for more.

Green Tea Ice Cream

A basic, refreshing way to soothe your tongue after a chili-heavy meal.

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