Spicy BBQ | 99 Essential Restaurants 2015

Spicy BBQ

photo by Anne Fishbein

Spicy BBQ has come to feel like a kind of second home to us, complete with a warm, no-nonsense maternal figure, a small cluttered dining room and the gratification of soulful home cooking. That this particular home cooking is the often burningly spicy curries, soups and dips of Northern Thailand makes no difference to its emotional content. This is intensely comforting food: the khao soi sweet and funky, its coconut-rich broth topped with house-made pickles and crunchy fried noodles; the nam prik ong pork dip like a salty, spicy sludge of ragu with cooling cabbage and cucumber on the side; the pork patties meaty pucks garnished with fried garlic and mint. Chef-owner Kanlaya “Nong” Sriyana is known to bring back ingredients from her homeland in order to create dishes you can’t easily get in the United States — turn directly to the back of the menu for the good stuff. Oh, and don’t miss the restaurant’s namesake dish, ironically one of the least spicy things on the menu but no less wonderful for it.— Besha Rodell