Before there were smart phones and Yelp, you had to wander around in an unfamiliar area in hopes of finding somewhere to eat. If you were lucky enough to go in the right direction to find a restaurant, it was pure luck whether that place served good food or not. Luckily the year is 2016, and after a recent trip to the Met Breuer, we were hungry for lunch and checked Yelp to see what restaurants were nearby. Several restaurants appeared to be close, but one that was also highly rated was Up Thai. After perusing a few of the reviews, we saw that Up Thai also had lunch specials, so we were on our way.
Up Thai’s decor is very cool – with plants hanging everywhere, even out of the walls, with faux window frames and colorful lights inside.
Even though it was already 2pm, the restaurant was still quite busy. We were seated at the bar and handed the lunch menu. As promised, lunch specials were $9, including your choice of appetizer, soup or salad and entree. Being able to choose an appetizer was quite a novelty for us, as we’re used to getting a veggie spring roll as the typical Thai lunch special appetizer. Up Thai offered several options for appetizers, including dumplings and even satay.
We both chose soup, which was pretty basic – broth with some tofu, napa cabbage, scallions and parsley.
My husband chose the spring rolls, while I chose the “Nest Rolls.” They resembled spring rolls, except for its nestlike wrapper, and were filled with minced shrimp and crab.
The entree list was extensive as well, making a decision tough. Pad Se Ew won my husband’s vote and arrived in a nicely molded tower. Rice dishes also came beautifully mounded.
Up Thai does a nice presentation with their dishes, with my rice being plated in a cone shape. I almost felt guilty destroying its form.
My green tofu curry, with eggplant, peppers and bamboo shoots, was very flavorful. I managed to eat every bite, soaking up the sauce with the rice.
The service here was great too. If Up Thai was in Los Angeles, we’d be regulars.
Twenty years ago, we would have been lucky to stumble upon any restaurant after our museum visit – so thank you smart phones, Yelp and Up Thai for existing as we had a terrific lunch.
Location – 1411 2nd St. #1, New York, 10021
Website – http://www.upthainyc.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Pesco-Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes