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Monday, November 05, 2007


Chowing Down: Thai Select

We are thrilled to introduce our readers to Modern Fabulousity's esteemed new Chief Food Critic, Graciela Montenegro-Fontaine. Internationally renowned for her culinary criticism and daring choices in footwear, Mrs. Montengro-Fontaine's reviews have appeared in the East Bucharest Gazette, the Peoria Palette, and in her recently-released collection of essays Kill The Waiter, This Soup Is Way Too Salty. Her occasional musings on the world's finest restaurants, using her patented 9-Point Critique (also knows as "The Nine Hammers of Damnation") will be reprinted here, barring any new developments in her legal action against the maitre'd at Cipriani.

THAI SELECT - 472 9th Avenue, New York City ($$)

The Locale: Situated on a lonely, desolate block of lower Hell's Kitchen...what real estate agents refer to as "the new hot neighborhood," and what I refer to as "so far west, it might as well be New Jersey."

The Atmosphere: If Todd Oldham were Asian, this would be his bathroom. Green tile sets off this long railroad-like dining area with modern chairs and a view of the kitchen. In the back, a glowing room with bamboo wallpaper makes a statement. And that statement is, we can't afford plants.

The Clientele: Overworked middle-managers, Hasidic businessmen (from B&H down the road), and gay hipsters who wandered too far south and got lost.

The Service: Very nice indeed. The waitresses (I didn't see any men) were kind, accomodating, and not too pushy with the green tea. They know their calimari fritters from their curry puffs, if you get my meaning. Actually, I'm not sure even I understand that.

Overheard: "Yolanda's not a lesbian, Andrew. She's just been tired lately."

The Food: I'd start any meal, anywhere, anytime, with their Tom Kar Soup, so tangy and cilantro-fresh it makes you smile from the first spoonful. Follow that with the Pla Jien, a whole red snapper delicately sautéed with ginger, scallion, celery, carrots, bamboo shoots and mushrooms in yellow bean sauce. My life companion Daavyd Fontaine-Montenegro, who is applying his special cucumber-and-horseradish massage to my scalp as I write this, rightfully just said that any dish is worthwhile, despite the palpable lack of hot male waiters.

The Dessert (aka The Most Important Part): Fried Vanilla Ice Cream With Raspberry Sauce. If only it came in a gallon-size.

The Verdict: In a town overrun with Thai establishments -- like the Bubonic Plague, only with noodles -- this is a standout, and not just because of the indoor Buddha fountain.

Graciela's Rating: B+



Blogger Johnna Adams said...

OMG! Although I am not Todd Oldman, nor Asian, I walked passed Thai Select last night-- and having not read this post at all-- thought "wow, if I had a big house in the suburbs and was redoing the bathroom, that is exactly what I want it to look like!" That is eerie. Like you are in my head walking around Manhattan sneering at restaurant decor with me. Great review! I ate at the Pakistani place down the street instead and it was just a stomach ache on a plate, although tasty.

11/7/07, 11:09 AM  

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