Go to seamlessweb.com for upper west side delivery and you’ll find about 100 Thai restaurants populating the search results. What is one to do with all the options and absolutely nothing in her uptown repertoire? Well, after perusing chowhound, yelp and multiple menus, I zoomed in on Thai Market, the only one in the bunch with a splash of style, good cocktails, and a supposedly hipster vibe. But instead of ordering, I decided to check the place out to get my daily dose of fresh air and conversation during a week of hurricane isolation.
Crowds at the entryway were the first sign of the good food at this place, and I overheard multiple people claiming that it was the best thai in the area while sitting at the bar. Too bad for Wonde Siam just across the street. After ordering a pineapple-tequila cocktail, I went overboard and ordered Tom Yum Goong, Salmon Wraps, Chicken Pad See Ew, and Vegetable Curry to share from the vintage-style menu. The soup, which was salty, sweet, and sour, came with big pieces of mushroom and plump shrimp and could have easily been an affordable light meal on its own. That didn’t stop me from digging into the salmon wrap, a stack of lettuce cups aside a pile of crumbled salmon, which unfortunately tasted more like cold, dried, crunchy cat food than Thai fish. I blame the order and not the restaurant, because this could very well be authentic and purely not my favorite. The thick, buttery noodles of the Pad See Ew and the earthy curry with crispy fried tofu made up for any disappointment – both dishes were piping hot and delicious. Totally impressed by the main courses and the atmosphere of this place, I didn’t hesitate a minute when selecting the ginger and green tea ice cream – ordering dessert is my way of closing out only meals I enjoy.
I struggle to find clean, aesthetically-pleasing, reliably good Thai restaurants in my neighborhood, so I might just have to stick it out until my next trip to Harlem to get some solid noodles and curry. I’d say it’s worth the wait – Thai Market is definitely a must if you’re anywhere north of 70th street.
Location: 960 Amsterdam Ave btwn 107th & 108th St