Larb Ubol

480 9th Ave. New York, NY 10018 • (212) 564-1822 •

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I hate people on Yelp who tank a place, giving it one star for something that is not truly indicative of the place as a whole, so I will fight the urge to do so myself.

First, the decor. There is actually a bit of a cheapness to the way it’s decorated. I know they were going for quaint or charming, but they don’t pull it off. It feels like a college kid decorated it in a colorful, minimalist style, in between bouts of pot smoking.

As far as service goes, it was definitely good, but with one major flaw. They asked how spicy I wanted the Sum Tom on a scale of 1 to 5. Five being the hottest. So, being that I LOVE spicy (E.G. when I get guac made at my table I ask for habaneros instead of jalapenos) I asked for 3. So one would think that this would fall on the med-high end of spicy. Not high. And not “I hate my mouth and want to hurt it.”

Well, let me tell you that 3 is SO spicy I could barely eat it, needing mounds of rice just to get halfway through. Which begs the question, who is eating level 5? Is that like melt your face off Raiders of the Lost Ark style-hot?! Their scale needs a serious re-think because this is literally the first time in my life I’ve ever had a dish too spicy for me to eat. And I’ve had loads of Thai, Indian, Mexican- you name it.

Fortunately the server tried to help as much as she could, offering complimentary rice and Thai Iced tea. And it’s hard for me to fault her for the kitchen’s bizarre scale.

So all that said, what I did taste, in that split second before my mouth melted off was quite good. But if I ever go back I’m asking for a 1 and sriracha on the side.

3 teeth