Fresh off my trip to Lotus of Siam, I opted to head to Thai Nakorn to do a comparison while the taste (and heat) of LOS was still fresh in my memory.
Over the course of two days I had the nam sod with crisy rice, bbq chicken, papaya salad, papaya salad with crispy catfish, hot and sour soup, bbq beef (aka crying tiger) and sticky rice with mango.
My overall impression was that the portions at Nakorn are 2x the size of LOS and on the whole, tastier. An order of mee krob or larb at LOS is barely the size of a tapas dish while the same order at Nakorn is a full on meal. ok, on to the quality...
I was blown away by the crisy catfish and papaya salad. Wonderfully crisy bits of fish and lots of whole roasted peanuts swimming in a tangled weave of papaya shreds. The fish bits were crunchy and withstood being soaked in the salads sauce till the very end. The sauce was slightly spicy and fishy (but in such a great way). This will definately become one of my "regulars" from now on. Thanks to Elmomonster for pointing this dish out.
The nam sad w/cirspy rice was very similar to larb with less spice and more tang from the lime juice and tons of shredded ginger. The addition of the crisy rice kept the dish interesting and provided a great texture contrast to the juicy ground pork.
The bbq beef was a little drier than I remembered it being despite being pink in the middle. I felt as if this dish had been sitting out for a while and the meat had dried out. Regardless, the wonderful spicy sauce they provided with it made up for any lack in flavor in the beef.
The bbq chicken was as good as always, with both the white meat and dark meat being juicy and full of flavor. No need for the sweet chili dipping sauce here.
I am not a fan of thai soups and thought the hot and sour soup was a tad salty. But to give them credit, it was full of large perfectly cooked shrimp.
I thought the regular papaya salad was lacking some heat and needed more peanuts, but that just my preference.
Lastly, the mango with sticky rice was as perfect as always. A great soothing way to end a meal with the super sweet cold mango contrasted next to the warm sweet rice. I was tempted to order the coconut ice cream but I had just consumed too much.
Service was spotty as always, with water either comming too much or not at all. Be forwarned, plan to order all your food at once since there is a good chance you may never see your waitress again until the check comes.
All the above dishes plus 4 or 5 beers (over the course of two visits) totaled a meager $80 with tip.