Well, THAT was a surprise. Was at Rockaway beach today, happened on the new food stalls on Beach 96th Street and the water. The Thai stand, named something like Ode to Elephants, shocked me with giving me the best beef salad (yum neua) I have had in the US in at least half a dozen years. Much better than Srip's (but must say I have not done many of the ascending Queens Thai places). Everything about it was just "right" -- the right sear on the meat, the right heat for the flavors, very well balanced and extremely, extremely good. Also had one bite of an excellent simple, deeply flavorful moo ping (grilled pork), and ate a very good mangoes and sticky rice. Neither the yum nor mango were on the menu, but they were just serving them up. None of these were destination-dishes---I don't want to mislead here--and frustratingly, they don't have sticky rice (and ran out of steamed rice! A Thai place w/out rice!!) to eat with the yum. But for those parts, a surprising show of Thai-food love.
I rarely would think that a Thai spot meant to do quick beach concession food would be at all worth trying, but something about a few of their spare menu choices -- given the location -- made me give it a go. Someone in the kitchen clearly knows Thai food very, very well.
64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377
Ode to the Elephants
Shore Front Pkwy Beach 96th St, Queens, NY 11693