Lodged between Herald Square and Penn Station, a new destination-worthy Thai restaurant can feel, well, random. And that's exactly the point of Random Access, a cozy, bilevel comfort food restaurant at 138 W. 32 St.
Run by Hand Hospitality—the restaurant group behind local hits like Her Name is Han, Hakata Tonton, LittleMad and several more Manhattan eateries—Random Access offers a laid-back vibe and extensive menu.
Central to the menu are Thai-American crossover dishes, also known as "Random Classics." Crab curry mac and cheese is baked with crab meat, macaroni, mozzarella and topped with a crisp layer of shallot chips and fresh cilantro. Chicken and waffles are created from fried chicken thighs and coconut milk waffle served with somtum pickle, cilantro, thai chili and a lime wedge. The spicy Thai ragu spaghetti is like a pad kee mao meets marinara, topped with green peppercorns, Thai basil and grated parmesan.
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The fusion menu is enough to fill up on, but Random Access also offers a full noodle bar (think spicy curry chicken ramen, beef noodle soup and more) and a somtum bar to create your own papaya salad. Small bites, raw dishes and stir-fries are also on the menu, as well as larger, shareable dishes to add to the delicious culinary chaos of the extensive menu. Kub Khao, the shareables, are worth bringing a crew for, especially to dig into crispy pork belly and the photogenic R.A. platter, a nearly table-sized roti wrap platter with grilled chicken thigh and shrimp, assorted thai herbs, sliced veggies and pineapple arranged in a large halo around a bowl of potato massaman curry dip.
Dessert, cocktails and natural wines are on deck, though you'll need several visits to work through the menu.
Reservations are available on Resy and takeout is also available.