>> Ploy Thai | Eat the World New York City

14 January 2010

Ploy Thai

THAILAND

Ploy Thai has always been there on the corner, asking me to come in, especially at night when its awning glows green. It showed all the signs of good Thai from the exterior, but somehow I've been in my Arunee - Chao Thai bubble until recently. I finally went in on a recent weekend and found exactly what I expected: Good, proper Thai food.

It seemed as if in its previous incarnation, this corner restaurant was a Chinese takeout, and all the furniture had made it through the death and rebirth cycle. What was probably a gigantic back-lit photo of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing is now a gigantic back-lit photo showing off the whimsical and magical side of Thailand, something you might expect in a travel agency.

Inspired by this Chinese takeout possibly, we ordered the fried fish ball appetizer ($4.95, below) which is served with a sweet chili sauce that resembles the orange sweet and sour packets they pile in your bags. This sauce tastes nothing like that of course, gently pricking your mouth with mildly spicy chilies.


Since this was my first visit and it was a very cold day, the tom kha gai ($7.95, below) acted as a barometer of the food. I was a bit afraid that it had no kick when it arrived, as you usually can see the peppers slowly leaking red into the coconut milk broth, but this spice must have been infused in to begin with. Not anything too much, but good enough for the crowd-pleasing effects this soup usually has.


The pad kra prao ($7.95, below, with pork) advertises garlic and onions, but it is really only the basil sauce that is able to stand out amongst the fiery chili peppers. The dish definitely had our foreheads sweating, a refill on our waters necessary at least once. As in all Thai food though, five alarm fires of spiciness still come out delicious, not just simple burn as in some other cuisines. We had made sure to have them make it properly upon ordering, so I made sure to scoop up every last bite as not to lose face!


In the area, I will still probably go to one of my favorites for food, but the people at Ploy are so amiable that it is hard to resist their charm. To get a window seat, is to have a perfect perch for watching quaint Elmhurst go by, and all this just adds to the charm.

[UPDATE: Photos from Jeff Orlick's Thai Ambassador event below]

Spicy fish cake

Grilled, marinated pork

Miang kham

Ground chicken salad

Crispy pork in spicy basil sauce

Spicy shrimp soup

Fried fish mango salad
Ploy Thai on Urbanspoon