A New York success story, SriPraPhai was the brainchild of a Thai nurse turned appliance store owner turned baker turned restaurateur. Initially a small, hole-in-the-wall spot, the place has since expanded into a larger space to accommodate the masses. So if you show up during prime dinner hours, be prepared to take a number and wait outside.
The menu at SriPraPhai is as thick as a Bangkok travel guide, featuring dishes from all over Thailand, from North’s signature khao soi to a few pages of seafood dishes commonly found in the South. With prices ranging from $5 (steamed dumplings) to $17 (soft shell crab), nothing here will cost you too much. And that’s ideal, because this is the kind of place where you’re going to want to order big and eat even bigger.
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Som Tum (Papaya Salad)
Sweet, sour, salty and hot, this salad hits on all four flavors. Refreshing despite some strong heat, this is among the best papaya salads in the city. Go for the variation with crispy ground catfish on top if you want to change it up.
Tender, salty beef balanced against crispy red onions and lots of lime juice. If you like your laab hot, do not be afraid to ask your waiter for some extra heat.
Curry at SriPraPhai is a must. This one is our particular favorite, thanks to eggplant that is perfectly tender, with just enough crunch to avoid being mushy. Despite some solid kick, the dish maintains a nice balance of flavors throughout. Don’t be shy with your sticky rice, either: clump up a ball and soak up those juices.
Fried Soft Shelled Crab
Served up a few ways, each one offers different toppings. But at the end of the day, the lightly fried crab is the highlight. We prefer the one with chili, garlic, and basil leaves, but make sure you get at least one for the table.
Sweet Sausage Salad
Bites of sugary-sweet pork served over a bed of crispy cucumbers, onions, chilies, and lime juice. Order some.
If your standard Thai order includes drunken noodle, then by all means, get some here. The dish is solid, with fresh noodles, but it isn’t one of the standout dishes.
Green Tea Ice Cream
A refreshing way to soothe your tongue after a chili-heavy meal.