I don't go out to eat that much, as I am just a lowly post-doc and eating out in New York is really priced for those who make actual money ... not that there are not good bargains, I just don't often find them ... in addition, eating out in the Bronx is a limited affair. You can get fantastic Italian, some of the best in the country to be sure and lots of, well, pizza and crappy Italian. And there is some trashy Chinese ... but thats it. So I am forced to range around through out the boroughs to satiate my moods, and recently I been fortunate enough to get to two excellent, and reasonably priced Thai places in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The first is Joya, which is in Brooklyn at 215 Court street. It is the kind of urban, industrial chic that is often found in Manhattan, with small tables, dark lighting and an uncovered metalwork ceiling. The prices, however, are nothing like the city, with most items on the menu for less than ten bucks ... and the food is fantastic. I ended up there with my friend Shauna on the way home from the New York Aquarium and it made for a memorable ending to a great day.
The second place is called Spice (I think the full name, oddly, is Spice Thai Hot & Cool), on the Upper East Side at 2nd Avenue between 73rd and 74th, and like Joya, has the urban minimalist theme common to most new restaurants in the city except that this one is tempered by 1950's era taste and leaves a distinct impression of red and steel, not really sure why. The prices were a tad higher than Joya, but not much and this is the upper east side after all. The waitresses were a lot of fun and the food was excellent, and they did not rush us out or push us to order, giving us time to chat ... which was really important as the guy I met for dinner was a friend from summer camp who I had not seen in over 7 years.
Two thai restaurants, one great (Joya) and one good (Spice), both a huge treat for the typical Bronx-dweller, who basically only eats Italian or bad chinese.