Run, do not walk, to Khao Sarn Cuisine in Coolidge Corner...It's only been open 3 weeks, and it may not stay this good!
I picked up their take-out menu a couple of weeks ago when I was too sick to consider eating, and have been using it for recreational reading ever since...It had some very authentic dishes, but I had doubts, because the decor is upscale, and they serve martinis...These 2 things are usually a bad sign for an ethnic restaurant....
I was wrong!!! In an impromptu chow-meeting, Rubee and I needed Thai food...She loves the Northern Thai menu at Bangkok City, and as any readers of this board know, I swear by Dok Bua...And we each wanted to try each others fave....But this could be good Thai in my nabe, certainly worth a try...
So, our first must have was the Thai street snack, Miang Kum...get it, get it, get it... A Thai spinach leaf (more neutral, like a grape leaf, but fresh..) piled with roasted dry shrimp, roasted peanuts, roasted coconut, ginger, red onion, chopped chili, and the piece de resistance, little chunks of fresh lime..The lime was IT!!. It also had a duck-like sauce on the side..I could sit all afternoon eating this with their mango martinis!! I know, ethnic rests. don't have good bars, but there you are..
Our next app wasn't as exciting, Mee Grob, crispey rice noodles, topped w/ tamarind sauce, some bean sprouts, shrimp, tofu and scallion..A little too sweet for our taste, could have used a little more fish sacue...But after asking for extra cilantro, we started liking it a lot more...There are a ton of unusual apps, our problem was, there were only 2 of us, so we had to use some restraint...
At this point, we worried they had dumbed down the noodles, so I pulled out my chowhound passport..The waitress burst out laughing..She called a waiter over, who translated as "No tourist food, we like real Thai food, the spicier it is; the better we like it" Or something like that!
Rubee ordered Larb Kai, ground chicken mixed w/shallots, scallions, mint leaves, hot lime sauce and cilantro..She was transported...She kept trying to make me try it!!! I will have to leave the commentary to her...
But I CAN comment on the Steamed Whole Sea Bass with 3 Thai Chilis, GARLIC and Lime sauce....UNBELIEVABLE!!
Rubee kept asking if it was the best steamed fish I'd ever had, and I was cagey, then she finally said, "Admit it, you're a food snob..You can't admit you can get authentic Thai in an upscale place!!" She was right...This was the one of best steamed fish ever..it looked bland, but when I bit into that mix of garlic, chilis, lime and fish sauce, I fell in love. I also reeked of garlic the rest of the day..(And, BTW, it was a 2-person sized fish, fresh and sweet, and it was $14.95!!!)
We had no room for noodles, or noodle soups, or dessert..I REALLY wanted to try some of their seafood noodle combination, and we didn't hit the pad thai...But it's her new favorite, and mine too...Go there, try more dishes, and report!!
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