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Like we went to Klong?

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Like we went to Klong?

Bob Martinez | Sep 7, 2005 11:48 AM

My partner and I visited Klong, a relatively new and fusiony Thai place, about 4 weeks back and never got around to posting about it. Chalk it up to this summer’s never ending heat and humidity.

Klong is located on St. Mark’s Place on a strip which has finally exorcised much of the kitsch and sleaze of the late 1960s. The décor of the restaurant itself is … um … different. The space is quite narrow and the floor is bare unfinished concrete, as are the walls. The reddish lighting was extremely dim and small oscillating fans were scattered about to help the wimpy air conditioning. It was like dining in an unfinished basement or a submarine under depth charge attack when the emergency lighting kicks in.

Under the circumstances I wasn’t expecting much from the food but I was pleasantly surprised. The dishes run from decent to very good and the service was both attentive and friendly.

I had beef pad ka prow as my entrée (billed as “Spicy Holy Basil”) and thought it was very good. (The renaming of classic Thai dishes is a specialty of the house.) The real knockout, however, was “Ginger Chicken Thai Ravioli Soup” which featured green wontons filled with spicy ground chicken in a gingery broth. This dish was truly outstanding and I recommend it highly.

My partner had Green Curry Puffs (“Siamese pastry filled with ground chicken, potato, green pea paste and green curry sauce”) and lamb pad ped. She emailed me today – “Both very good, spicy. Not Sri spicy but respectable stuff.” Trust her – she knows her Thai food.

It was Saturday night and the place was crowded. The average age was about 25 and I suspect that for many of them this was their first taste of Thai food other than at mall food courts. They were understandably enthusiastic if a bit loud. We were seated next to two chubby 23 year olds afflicted with a bad case of the “Likes.”

“Like I was talking to Amber the other day? And I was like “Wow, are you going to date him?” and she was like “Duh ... he’s really hunky” and I was like …”

This can wear thin after 10 minutes but I was not proud of what we did. With the arrival of each new “like” my partner and I would throw our hands in the air. It looked like we were doing the Wave. They did not appear to notice this and our hands began to get tired.

As we were paying our bill their entrees arrived and they requested chopsticks from the waiter. For fun, I leaned over and pointed out that chopsticks aren’t actually used in Thailand. The heavier of the two smiled and said they liked to use them because it helped them to eat slower. I thought that it didn’t seem to be working for them but I kept that to myself.

If you’re tempted to go I’d suggest arriving at off peak times to avoid the worst of the scene. Then again, for some people the scene might be an attraction in itself.

The prices are quite reasonable. Starters run from $4 to $6 and entrees from $8 to $14.

Klong
7 Saint Marks Pl
Btwn 2nd & 3rd Ave
Phone: 212-505-9955

Link: http://www.klongnyc.com/

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