Thai Break: 10 of NYC's Best Southeast Asian Eateries
by Julie Besonen, 11/17/2010
Photo: Alexander Thompson
153 E. 26th St., 212-689-1444, Gramercy, Manhattan
This serene, candlelit oasis in the Gramercy area excels at attentive service and crisp duck spring rolls as long as cigars, punched up by tomato-chili sauce. The smaller sibling of the East Village's Holy Basil, Little Basil is two years old and offers a similar, value-driven wine list that goes with spicy food. Not that everything here is spicy: steamed dumplings shaped like beggars' purses are comforting, filled with a tasty blend of minced pork, shrimp and shiitake mushrooms. The benchmark pad Thai and pad woon sen—stir-fried glass noodles with chicken, shrimp, bamboo shoots and wood ear mushrooms—are soothingly flavorful. If you want to turn up the heat, try superspicy panang curry with duck breast, Kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk and holy basil. Cool the fire with ethereal coconut flan.