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Rice Ave.


“Ill have brown rice,” “make that without oyster sauce and
fish sauce,” “this is really spicy.” No, no and no. I'm so
not a food snob, but when talking about Thai I am a bit particular. I cant
help it, its the one cuisine I feel like I actually “get.” Curry
shouldnt be eaten with chopsticks, and crinkle cut carrots shouldnt be
swimming around in it either.

Friday night I was excited because I'd finally be able to see the new
renovated Sripraphai, it had been a while. It's bizarre because the last
time I went was the Saturday night before I impulsively decided to fly to
Portland in October, and then like the week I came back it was written up as
main review in the NY Times
, which caused a stir because people thought
it belonged in the Under $25 column. I was just weirded out by the photo in
the review because apparently the dining room had been completely redone in
the short time since my last visit. Anyway, I had heard that it was
reopening in its new larger form on Jan. 19, but when we trekked out on a
freezing Fri., the 20th, it was still under construction.

Despite that neighborhood being a trove of varied and inexpensive food,
we were bent on Thai. Knowing that wed be disappointed by anything less than
Sripraphai was a given, so we opted for the more atmospheric, yet less
authentic Rice Ave down the street simply because wed never been before. Eh,
it was pretty much as expected, not what I'd been looking forward to at all.
The duck salad was good, the potential was there, but the hot part of the
hot, sour, salty, sweet dynamic was severely lacking, as it was in all of
the dishes we tried. The red curry with pork and cashew shrimp were adequate
and tasty too, but not the wow-inducing blizzard kick off meal I'd been

Rice Ave * 72-19 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights, NY

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