This is the first of a series of posts about the best food in Hell’s Kitchen, a neighborhood in Midtown West, NYC. I already posted about the Best Pizza in the area, but this is the first individual restaurant posting out of many to come.
A quick stroll on 9th avenue, the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, brings up 2 questions. Why am I craving for Bourekas, and why are there so many Thai places around. There must be at least 100 of them, not to mention all the ones on 10th avenue nearby. Ant to top it you also have entire franchises nestled in there. Wondee Siam 2 is almost across from the original (I prefer the newer space and food). Yum Yum 1, Yum Yum 2, and Yum Yum 3 are all right next to each other. Yum Yum 2 recently represented the Yum Yums in the 9th avenue food festival and I’m not sure why Yum Yum 1 and Yum Yum 3 were absent from the event or the reason Yum Yum 2 was representing instead of Yum Yum 1. But I digress
I tried many of the Thai spots over the years, but since I discovered Pure, the “trying” part shifted to trying every item on Pure’s menu. Pure to me is purer Thai than the rest. Not only it feels you are in a foreign country once you enter (its slightly bigger than a shoe box, a hers and hers closet f you will. Yes thats what we call it in our house. I recently lost 2 more shelves to her shoes. I’m lucky I got something left), but the menu doesn’t boast the regular American Thai dishes you see everywhere else. You don’t see the usual green/red curry, drunken noodles, pad dishes that just about every single spot on 9th got (although I enjoy them from time to time like the excellent Kee Mao in Kare Thai on 10th). What you do get in Pure is all sorts of complex flavors leading to a Pure culinary ecstasy. Here are some of my favorites…
Beef Pad Prik Khing & Crab Meat Omelette (top picture) – This is my a new favorite discovered on a recent visit with my friend Alex. Its not on the menu but often appears on the board as a special. Tender, limey, juicy, super flavorful beef cubes with long bean, and sugar snap peas, with this beautiful crab and scallion omelette sitting on a bed of Jasmine rice which was absolutely perfect with the light curry sauce. Fantastic dish all around and worthy of a run-on sentence!
Ratchaburi crab and pork with dry noodles. These guys are serious about their homemade noodles, and this is one dish to sample it.
All kinds of fabulous Wok action:
Curry Paste with Pork, Chili Pepper with Chicken, Cashew Nuts with Shrimp, Chili Turmeric with Beef (Below. Very tasty with plenty of heat)
One particular rice/noodle dish I like is the Jungle Curry fried rice with Chicken – fairly spicy so use caution.
Many of the dishes especially with 3 stars next to the names are not for the faint of heart but you can also ask them to reduce the heat level. Remember what I said about authentic? Authentic translates to Thai spicy (vs American Thai spicy). Its BYOM – Bring Your Own Milk spicy so watch out with those starred attractions., and enjoy Pure Thai Cookhouse in Hell’s Kitchen