Rua Thai

At Rua in Carroll Gardens, you can have a solo dinner sitting on a clear plastic stool, next to a group drinking blowtorched cocktails on clear plastic banquet chairs—and both modes are perfectly acceptable. You’ll see a stream of people getting pad thai to-go, but your server will steer you towards the chef’s specialties. Some things, like shrimp and chicken dumplings in a pool of massaman curry, will make you a bad sharer. Others, like two under-seasoned river prawns on top of an overflowing cup of noodles, are more fun to marvel at than they are to eat. For a casual Thai meal that could devolve into rounds of tequila drinks garnished with gummy bears, or if you didn’t get a table at Ugly Baby, Rua is a solid choice.