Somtum Der

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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Somtum Der

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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Peek kai (chicken-wing soup) at Somtum Der

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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Sa poak kai tod der (deep-fried chicken thigh) at Somtum Der

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Tum Thai kai kem (papaya salad with salted egg) at Somtum Der

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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Grilled sticky rice at Somtum Der

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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Mool nue ding kati sod (coconut-milk-marinated pork skewers) at Somtum Der

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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Steamed rice at Somtum Der

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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Somtum Der

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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Somtum Der

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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Somtum Der

East Village
With joints like Pok Pok Ny, Kin Shop and Uncle Boons, New York's become well versed in northern Thai fare—add this Isan eatery to the hit list. Khon Kaen native Thanaruek "Eh" Laoraowirodge imports his Bangkok flagship to the East Village. Bypassing the sweeter flavors of the country's Central Plain, the 65-seat restaurant spotlights somtum der, a northeastern-style green papaya salad, commonly featuring fermented crab, salted egg or barbecued chicken. The wood-clad space—decorated with poppy-red stools and light fixtures made from sticky-rice baskets—has an open somtum bar, where diners can watch the papayas being shredded to order. Beyond the namesake dish, the menu treks through bold regional specialties, categorized by their cooking method: deep-fried (fried chicken thighs), grilled (coconut-milk-marinated pork skewers) and the minced meat salad larb (catfish, duck, pork). To quell the heat, there's Thai tea panna cotta and tropical drinks, including Thai juices (lemongrass, roselle), Singha beer cocktails, and a martini infused with kafir lime leaf and toasted rice grains.
Venue name: Somtum Der
Contact:
Address: 85 Ave A
NY

Cross street: between 5th and 6th Sts
Opening hours: Daily noon–11:30pm
Transport: Subway: F to Lower East Side–Second Ave
Price: Average entrée: $10. AmEx, MC, V
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