Manhattan – East Village
85 Ave. A (bet. E. 5th and 6th Sts.)
Manhattan, NY 10009
Somtum Der in the East Village serves the kind of genuine Isan Thai cuisine that true believers used to have to travel to Queens for. There are eight papaya salads to choose from, accented with anything from salted egg to grilled pork neck to fermented fish sauce and field crabs. Heat levels can be adjusted. To help cool your palate get an order of coconut rice, so perfectly cooked it quivers on the fork. (Tables are set Thai style, with Western silverware rather than chopsticks.) Soups, salads, fish and meat dishes are pictured on the menu, which aids the unversed. The attractive space is bright and cleanly designed with shelves of jarred spices, red and black accents and light fixtures that look like a cross between bamboo steamers and birdcages.
American ExpressGood for GroupsKid-Friendly