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The Stunning Duck Penang Curry at Ayada Thai in Elmhurst

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The Stunning Duck Penang Curry at Ayada Thai in Elmhurst

Jim Leff | Dec 16, 2010 06:13 PM

Me and my friend Dave have been working through local Thai restaurants, trying to contrast and compare them. A "Thaifecta" if you will. There's been nothing particularly noteworthy to report thus far...until tonight.

We hit Ayada Thai (77-08 Woodside Ave, Elmhurst, NY), which I'd not previously tried. The rap on this place is that it's good-not-great, and that salads and soups are better than entrees.

Aw, contraire.

The Penang curry with duck was 1. the best duck dish I've had in a long, long time, and 2. one of the best thai dishes I've had in a long, long time. It's nearly impossible to describe something this good (the analytic mind breaks down above a certain quality level (see http://jimleff.info/eating-by-the-num... ). It's a huge, generous hunk of boneless, skinless, fatless cut-up duck, absurdly crisp and sizzly in places and juicy/meaty in others, sitting atop an orange, unctuous, deep-flavored Penang curry sauce. You must try it. You will try it. You: TRY IT!

Drunken noodles with beef were merely excellent. No match for the duck.

Som tum had a lusciousness to it, and was addictive. We also had some tom-zap, which was thin, sour, and incendiary (we ordered it Thai spicy). Pumpkin custard was good, and obviously homemade. Nothing matches the duck. I shall forever dream of the duck.

Here's the other piece of new info: the good stuff (shrimp paste fried rice, black egg in basil sauce, frog leg) is all on the paper takeout menu only. Spurn the laminated in-restaurant menus, which mostly list gringo-friendly items.

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Ayada
77-08 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

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