Now open for a little under a month is a very welcome new addition to Brooklyn, little sister of Elmhurst's Plant Love House. Within a stone's throw of busy Atlantic Avenue, Prospect Heights adds a winner to an area that usually does not get authentic world cuisine. The space has a patio in the back and they plan to use this when the weather warms up.
The previous owners had an extensive draft list and the bar in front remains, although the taps are all dry for now. What they do decorate it with is packets of spicy Thai red chili, giving a hint of the meal to come.
Prepare yourself for that heat they are not afraid to use with a cold sweet beverage of your choosing. The passion fruit juice ($3) is a bit too sweet for our liking, but does the trick to douse the fires. Iced nom yen ($3) is a syrupy milk named for the pink color. To me this tastes like bubble gum. That being said, I come to Thai restaurants for the food and have no grumbles.
Even though good Thai restaurants are popping up with a welcoming regularity the past few years, and even though there is one even named for the dish, boat noodles have not had a proper rendition. Until now that is, at least at first taste here the guay tiao num tok ($11, below) is on top of New York City's power list. Known as "boat noodles" in English, this is a deep dark soup of pork blood, palm sugar, and plenty of chili. The only thing I would want on a future visit is that little glass jar of vinegar and hot peppers to add some sourness and more heat to my bowl, but alas this is not really a noodle joint.
Amazingly there was a dish here we liked even more, the show-stopping yum pak boong grob ($12, below), described as a watercress salad but so much more. I was reminded a lot of tom yum sukhothai in a dry format instead of soup. Watercress mixed with minced pork and a lot of peanuts, fried morning glory and shrimp. The heat level on this dish is getting to some upper limits.
On one of many return trips, the dish looked like this
There had to be a reason to order the sticky rice ($2) in that photo above, so the favorite of bar snacks came out next. Moo manow ($10, below), is listed under the signature dishes of the house but so far was not quite as delicious as its colleagues. This was perhaps just the bad luck of being eaten in the same meal as two fantastic dishes, and unfortunately LOOK does not have their liquor license yet meaning beer was not an option.
The khao kluk kapi ($12, below) came out last but would have been prefered as a first arrival. The platter begs for hands to grab bits and pieces but is actually meant to be stirred together, toning down the sweet pork and rice that is fried with a strong shrimp paste. The centerpiece is surrounded by onions, cucumbers, sweet Chinese sausage, egg, fried morning glory, and shredded green mango.
[UPDATE: 12 March 2016] New to the menu on our last visit was the Bangkok guay tiao tom yum ($11, below), a dish with very high heat potential mellowed by sourness and peanuts. The fresh lime and fish sauce work well with the dried Thai chili.
Another look at the very good soup
When those first warm days of spring roll around, we can only hope that the bottles of Singha are available on the patio with our spicy meals. Let's also hope that the stroller and artisanal set doesn't require the restaurant to pull back from its fiery instincts. It is great to have more options in Brooklyn to eat Thai food as it demands to be eaten.