Three of us visited the Hicksville, LI (Old Country Road, just west of Broadway) outpost of the fabled Ja Ya restaurant chainlet and had some fantastic Thai.
To be honest, this visit was almost aborted. I was initially skeptical because of the white tablecloth atmosphere and Disney-like Wat Phra Kaeow artwork on the walls. After sitting down and flipping through a menu that was so Americanized that I couldn't even find the Pad Thai ("Thai Style Noodles"), I was ready to bolt -- but my dining companions had already begun to drink some water and mess up the table, so I stayed. And boy am I glad I did.
We started off with a spicy soup with chicken, that like all their soups serve about 4 people and came served in a hot pot-like bowl compete with requisite heating flame shooting out the the middle. It was wonderful -- complex and flavorful. Just make sure you don't burn off your eyebrows as you try to scoop the contents out of the trowel :)
For main dishes, we got the Mixed Seafood Pad Thai (ahem, Thai Style Noodle...), Chicken with Curry, and Beef with Chili and Basil Leaves. Each dish was done superbly. The pad thai was some of the best I've had outside of Bangkok, the beef with basil was special, and the curry packed a punch.
Jai Ya is known for their spicy dishes, but the kitchen is more than happy to adjust spice to your tastes when they can. They also were happy to comply with a "no MSG" request.
In the end, I actually wound up appreciating the white tablecloth service that originally set off alarm bells. In fact, it was a refershing change from the hole-in-the-wall aesthetics that one must endure to get such quality fare. And the pricing? Reasonable, at around $10 per dish.
Definitely will be back.