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I don't know why it took us so long to try this place since I'm a big Thai
fan and it's only a block from James's apt. I've always been scared off by
that row of restaurants along the west side of Third Ave. between 12th and
13th (the only one I've ever tried, Rochjin, just went out of business after
mere months–that space is cursed). It also seemed mildly peculiar that they
have a bar and do a brunch. The assorted appetizer plate was a bit bland, it
looked large and enticing, but flavor was lacking, dipping sauces would've
been a definite plus. But the entrees weren't half bad. The prices were
perhaps a dollar or two more than at competing places, but not completely
outrageous. They're definitely aspiring to more than mere take-out: the
presentation is artfully arranged on large square plates, sprigs of things
sticking out saying take me seriously. Unorthodox items like massaman
avocado show up as a special. We stuck to the familiar and tried a red curry
and a shrimp, ground chicken and basil dish that weren't half-bad. (5/31/02)

I guess we must like Montien since we've been back again in less than a
month. This time: addictive fried squid with sweet chili sauce, panang curry
with pork, and basil chicken. We asked for spice and we got it. It was good
at the time, but was my stomach was feeling it the next day. (6/21/02)

Montien* 90 Third Ave., New York, NY

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