Siam Garden celebration.

Wow! Big day for the blog – we got a link from Gawker and our traffic shot through the roof! Thanks again, guys, and welcome to all our new readers.

Some celebration was in order, so my roommate and I went and had a couple of beers at Floyd’s on Atlantic Av, where we enjoyed checking out their selection of canned beers – never seen Stroh’s in any other bar. Could it be the next Rheingold? Afterwards, we wandered back down Atlantic and Court St, wondering where to procure dinner.

After rejecting a few places and collecting a few menus, we stopped to read Siam Garden’s menu (172 Court between Amity and Congress), and noticed they had larb listed – the salad that I’ve loved since first trying it a month or so ago. Sold! We went in to the nearly empty restaurant and procured one of the prime tables by the window. The décor of the place is quite nice – one wall is totally done in burgundy, and there are nice-looking paintings on the wall and statuettes positioned throughout the restaurant. A couple of (decorative) fish tanks sit towards the middle, one of which features a barb as its inhabitant. They even have a retro-foreign ‘pay’ phone in the back, which was ringing for a constant stream of delivery orders. I guess this is how they’ve stayed open since 1985? The very friendly staff and quick service don’t hurt, either.

Needless to say, we ordered the beef larb ($7) to begin, and I made sure to order it Thai spicy. Fortunately, she believed me – this stuff was way effing out! Far hotter than Myrtle Thai, and still hotter than the catfish labb that I loved at Zabb, it had both of us sweating underneath the eyes and gulping water for a momentary cooling effect – after we ate it, the fire didn’t subside for at least ten minutes. Thankfully, it wasn’t just flavored with spice – the subtle fermented fishy flavor tipped us to the use of fish sauce. The scallions complemented the fishy beef perfectly, and I also liked the shredded red onion that was mixed in.

For our entrees, we scaled back a bit on the spice – my roommate ordered something called Bangkok chicken ($11), which I’m ready to anoint the king of all sweet and sour chickens the world over. Fried but not heavy or too greasy, the chicken pieces were doused in a plum-ginger sauce that really put all of those sticky-sweet sauces you know from bad Asian restaurants to shame. The presentation was even impressive – not merely slapped on a plate with garnish, lettuce was used to give the chicken elevation, resulting in a three-dimensional look that we thought was at least as classy as the restaurant’s décor. Plum pits were even included on the side!

I opted for my other favorite Thai dish, that wonderful cashew-nut-featuring stir-fry, pahd med ma muang ($9). Upon receiving the plate, my first curiosity was, as usual, were the cashew nuts roasted? Fortunately, the answer was yes – not quite blackened like Zabb, the cashews were nonetheless roasted enough to give the nuts that hearty flavor I like so well. Big points over Myrtle for that. The beef was tender and tasty, with just a hint of fish sauce and spice (thankfully, I don’t know what I’d have done with another larb-spicy dish). Also included were slightly sautéed white onions, scallions, and bamboo shoots.

Needless to say, my roommate and I were VERY pleased with Siam Garden, and we will be eating there again soon.

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