I don't want to be the documenting voice or anything like that on the enormous and delicious Chowhound Thai dinner last night, but since I did want to record some things about it before I forget, I figured I may as well post something on the board so I can always search for anything I forget when the experience isn't so fresh.
First of all, many thanks to GDSwamp for undertaking what must have been a challening enterprising in organizing the dinner. (If you missed the original thread it's here: [BROKEN LINK REMOVED])
I think we ended up with eleven courses for the extremely reasonable price of $41/person with tax. They were all good but I want to especially highlight a couple favorites: The first of the night which was Nam sod kao tod pork salad with crispy rice, shallots, scallions, ginger,
peanuts, chilis and fish sauce. I'd never had anything like the clusters of crisp-fried rice along with the other things I love so much about Thai salads. The other big highlight of the night for me was the fish ka pao, as I think it's spelled from doing some googling. Toun, who did the shopping and cooking for us told me it was chunks of Thai catfish (which she says fries up crisper than other fish) with a perfectly balanced hot sour sweet salty sauce, which I'm pretty sure involved tamarind, and was topped with generous amounts of holy basil. I was pretty excited to hear it was holy basil, since I've read plenty about that particular variety of basil since I got my first Thai cookbook (which describes it as having a delicate clove flavor), and I didn't think it was even obtainable in Philly. Toun told me it is not always in the markets, and I'm really curious where I can find my own to experiment with.
I'll leave any other descriptions to others, but I encourage anyone who couldn't make it to set up a a meal of some of these dishes, since imo they were far superior to the two or three other meals I've had at Erawan. I myself am planning on trying to set up some more fish ka pao and Nam sod kao tod in the near future.
Finally, I hope this spurs some more board outings to sample restaurants en masse like this, it's certainly a good time.