Things may be looking up for Thai food in Manhattan. Zabb Thai, a Queens favorite for the rustic, fiery chow of Thailand’s northeastern Isaan region, has branched out into the East Village.
Unlike in Jackson Heights, the Manhattan menu is all in English and offers relatively few Isaan specialties, at least for now. But hounds are hopeful. “Probably need to give it time and encouragement to see what develops,” suggests jen kalb.
So far, reports on the food are mixed. However, Abbylovi says the new place seems willing to deliver full-throttle seasoning for those who ask. Her strategy: tell the server you love the original Zabb, order dishes by their Thai names, and insist you like it hot–for her, the result was delicious, robustly spiced laab and grilled beef salad.
A few blocks south, the Jewel Bako mini-empire has remade itself yet again. Owners Jack and Grace Lamb have moved Jack’s Luxury Oyster around the corner into the space that used to house Jewel Bako Makimono. Jack’s now offers a recast menu of tasting plates. Some of Makimono’s signature sushi rolls and small plates have been added to the menu at Jewel Bako.
And in other neighborhood news, Mamoun’s Falafel, purveyor of cheap Middle Eastern chow on MacDougal Street since 1971, has a brand-new East Village shop on St. Marks Place.
Zabb Kitchen [East Village]
formerly Pat Pong
244 E. 13th St., between 2nd and 3rd Aves., Manhattan
Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar [East Village]
formerly Jewel Bako Makimono
101 2nd Ave., near E. 6th St., Manhattan
Jewel Bako [East Village]
239 E. 5th St., between 2nd and 3rd Aves., Manhattan