Supposedly related to the former Land Thai which moved to the Upper East Side. The decor inside is funky and fun with old marble tables, brick walls, bare bulbs, gold leaf, large posters of Thai night markets, and ducts (It's all ducts these days!) that give it a nice spacious feel.
For once Chris, my faithful Khao Soi khompanion, and I were really hungry, having to stretch out our stomachs for tomorrow's Turkey Day meal, so we ordered two different mains (Khao soi and Pad See Ew noodles) and an appetizer, daikon cakes, so we got try more of a range of their dishes. The daikon cake, fried and mixed with mung bean sprouts, eggs, and chinese chives, was quite tasty, with a nice variety of textures from the crunchy exterior daikon with a soft inside, the crisp sprouts and the green soft chives. Chris thought it was a bit too spicy, but I've blown out my Scoville unit gauge from falling in love with the hundreds of Peruvian hot sauces called aji during my field work down there, so I actually asked for some extra hot sauce for these. Given that many had criticized the blandness of Thai Market's food, I took it as a good sign that this appetizer was highly flavored. The Pad see ew was good as well but a bit unspicy for my tastes, so I would have gone for the spicier but similar Pad kee mao despite the warnings against it on the web. This was a good dish for Chris though.
I believe this is the first Khao Soi I've had in New York that has the complete set of toppings that I think of traditionally coming with the dish: fresh and fried shallots, fried noodles, mung bean sprouts, pickled mustard greens, and chili sauce if you ask for it. This right away put me in a good mood about the potential of this dish to show up other places' versions even though I'd heard many complaints that the food here was underspiced or not flavorful. So after taking my requisite photos and tossing on the toppings (patience, Chris, patience!) I went first for a spoonful of the broth, and it definitely didn't disappoint. There was the rich sweetness of the coconut milk, the sourness of the mustard greens and from the broth itself, and finally the bite of the chillies, This seemed to have it all! Well, ok, it could've had a bit more broth in which to dunk the plentiful fried and soft noodles, especially since it was so tasty, but I guess they're going with the thought, "leave them wanting more." Aside from more broth I really wouldn't change anything about this Khao soi, and that's saying a lot after trying 12 versions of this dish in NY.
I asked the hostess after our meal where exactly they were from and she said Chiang Mai, so that explains why they have Khao soi on their menu and why they know how to do it proper with all the fixin's!
Thai Market Inc
960 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10025
between 107th and 108th streets