The King & I

7098 Hodgson Memorial Dr. Savannah, GA 31406(912) 355-2100kingandisavannah.com

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The name of this place had me feeling all nostalgic as I entered, because way back in the late 70’s/early 80’s the very first Thai restaurant I ever tried was a place called The King and I in Boston and I remember loving the pad thai out it! That said, this place has no relation to the one in Boston. And I mean NO relation. From service to décor to food, this place is like the Danny Devito to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Twins.

Starting at the biggest pain point, the service is horribly slow. As is the kitchen. And even the dishwashers apparently, either that or they are oddly stingy with their silverware, causing us to not only ask multiple times for serving spoons and knives, but even having to debate the necessity of the utensils with our server.

But as you know, I can forgive a lot if the food is great. Unfortunately I was given very few reasons to make amends. Both the Summer and Spring rolls were decent, but that’s somewhat to be expected. I’m not sure I ever recall having bad ones.

And as for the main dishes, the pad Thai was oily (pictured), the panang scallops were over-cooked, the green curry with chicken was okay and the chicken with broccoli was rather bland.

Sigh. I miss Boston.

1 tooth

Qi

675 8th Ave. New York, NY 10036(212) 247-8991qirestaurant.com

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For the area it’s a refreshing change of pace from the touristy hell that is Times Square. With its vibe and décor the place exudes a cool similar to that of Peep down in Soho, but without the voyeuristic bathroom. That said, the food is not quite as good as Peep, but it’s still good. And the prices, like Peep, are VERY reasonable- especially when you get the lunch special. So reasonable, with a drink, an app and pad thai, the bill came to $10. You can’t even get a sandwich and a soda in this city for less than $10. And that’s without chips!

I didn’t notice the bad service, however, mentioned by hordes of others. I also didn’t think anything was so good it was worth more than 3 stars… So, guess what I’m giving it…

3 teeth

Waka

95 King St. Chappaqua, NY 10514 • (914) 861-2727 • wakafusion.com

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I have only actually been there once, so most of this review is based on delivery, which I have done about fifty times. Usually for sushi, although this last time I tapped into their pan Asian offerings and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised on the Chinese. Thai not-so much.

But first let’s get back to the basics. The décor is contemporary and clean. Service is warm and friendly, with that local, small-business vibe about it.

And as for the sushi, it’s pretty impressive by delivery standards. I honestly don’t think we have better sushi delivery in Northern Westchester. In fact, when we lived in the city we didn’t even have better fish. Which is really what makes Waka shine. They seem to always get extremely fresh tuna, salmon and yellowtail. Eel is cooked so it doesn’t count.

They also have a ton of inventive rolls, but freshness is obviously the true measure of a Japanese restaurant. You can always hide sub-par fish beneath a gaggle of maki companions and still make it taste good.

So apart from Azuma in Hartsdale (haven’t tried Nanase yet), there’s none better in the burbs.

And to think that they can pull off Chinese well too? Two hats off. The Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce was on point and so was the crispy shrimp with pineapple. Haven’t ventured into their lo mein as of yet. Or any of the other Chinese, staples, but I will, so stay tuned.

Unfortunately they fall WAY short of the trifecta, however. Their Thai needs some serious help. Both the pad Thai and red curry beef tasted like the cardboard partition they stick in the delivery bag.

But please don’t let that discourage you from giving them a try, after all, doing two things well is still mighty hard. Heck, Michael Jordan couldn’t even do it!

3 teeth

Thai Angel’s

155 Lexington Ave. Mount Kisco, NY 10549 • (914) 666-0937

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I only ordered take out, so I can’t really speak too thoroughly about service or decor. But, what brief service I had, was good. So no complaints there. Decor is on par with most purist Thai places, which means unchanged since the 70’s. For some reason the contemporary decor trends of the 21st haven’t taken to Thai restaurants like they have with other Asian restaurants.

And as for the name, I have to admit it sounds more like a place to get a sensual massage than a bite to eat.

But all of that aside, I unfortunately didn’t find the food to be all that impressive. Thai House in Ardsley is MUCH better. As is Noodle+ in White Plains.

But for Northern Westchester, I guess it’s the only game in town because the Pad Thai at Waka is an abomination and Spoon is just a train wreck. So, it’ll have to do. Just wish it was better.

2 teeth

Republic

37 Union Sq. West New York, NY 10003 • (212) 627-7172thinknoodles.com
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If you’re shopping in the hood and you can’t get a table at the Coffee Shop or Blue Water Grill or Tarallucci e Vino, then you’ve come to the right place. Tons of seating, which is good, and relatively quick turnover, which is especially nice during the winter shopping season, when waiting for a table sucks times ten. The other nice thing about visiting here in the winter is for their great soups. The one I always get is the spicy beef and noodle soup. Hella spicy, but nose-running good.

Pad thai and glass noodle chicken is also up to snuff. As well as your typical pan-Asian starters like pot stickers and fried wontons. Oh, and very good, very strong cocktails as well.

Service, on the other hand, often blows. Typically very unaccommodating in virtually every way possible. And it’s almost as if they take pride in it- assholes. That said, the last time I was there, around the holidays, they were uncharacteristically nice. Maybe they were trying to get off of the naughty list.

But assholes or angels, at least the food and drink are always good.

3 teeth

Peep

177 Prince St. New York, NY 10012(212) 254-7337 •  peepsoho.net

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While shopping in Soho, we stumbled upon this place by accident and man am I glad we did. What a find! First of all, the decor is very cool. Sleek, modern and little something special for those who visit the bathroom. Well, special if you’ve ever been curious about exhibitionism.

Service is nice and fast. And the food- I swear, I can’t think of a better thai restaurant in the city. Seriously. If you know one, please do tell. Because Qi, Pongsri, Larb Ubol and Jai et Thai have nothing on this place. Everything was excellent from the appetizers to the entrees to the classics like Pad Thai.

But here is the kick. Guess how much it was for three people to have lunch? With Three apps and three entrees? Are you sitting down?

$27 including tax! In New York City! In Soho!

Okay, now pick yourself up off of the floor and go.  What do you have to lose (except maybe modesty, if you venture to the bathroom)?

4 teeth

Ace Eat Serve

501 E 17th Ave. Denver, CO 80203(303) 800-7705 • acedenver.com

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The crispy brussel sprouts with shishito peppers are reason enough to come here alone. I know every restaurant and their grandmother is doing sprouts right now (and kale salads), but this is a nice, spicy twist, as opposed to sweet, like so many others.

The other thing I liked was the sesame seared salmon served over noodles. A special, but a solid one.

The only miss for me was the dessert. But I dug everything else about the place. Service was friendly and attentive. Decor is cool and fun. Especially if you like ping-pong, which I do… and thus the namesake for the joint. Plus, they have a huge outdoor seating area, which probably swayed me a little because it was 78 degrees and sunny that day. Practically worth a star unto itself after such a long, bitter winter.

4 teeth