Since I have Thai houseguests who do not like "farang" food, we did an intense Thai food search this past weekend. While my expectations are low, I did have some interesting experiences ranging from the poor to good.
Friday: Zabb (the one on East 13th Street) -- charming wait staff, excellent som tham (ask for it "phet phet"), very good pla rad prik, absolutely inedible penang curry. Sweet place, want it so much to succeed, they just need to work on their poor dishes or purge them from the menu.
Wondee Thai ( west side of 9th Avenue & 50-something Street): amazingly good meal of som tham (asked for phet phet, served phet phet) and pretty good yum plah duk foo -- the catfish was well cooked, but the mango salad base was way to sweet. Nice staff. Welcoming if busy atmosphere. The sticky rice, however, was weird. More like a congealed steamed rice. A strange disappointment in an otherwise good meal.
Tiny Thai (west side of 9th Avenue, around 50-something street): yikes -- how does this place even stay in business? Don't know what was worse: the service or the food. The menu itself is barely thai and the food... well: even though I asked for it phet phet and the waiter acknowledged understanding it had NO heat at all. When I asked for some "prik nam pla" to try to add heat to it myself, I was told that they had none. The first time that has ever happened to me in any Thai restaurant anywhere. Avoid!
Interested in see other folks' feedback on these or similar experiences. Still searching for the ultimate Thai food fix anywhere in NYC.