MICHELIN Guide’s Point Of View
Tucked along the fringes of Alphabet City, a little taste of authentic Isaan Thai awaits. Originally based out of Bangkok, the New York outpost of Somtum Der offers a cozy little enclave for the East Village set, stylishly accented with bright pops of red and a welcome glimpse of the kitchen’s somtum station. There, you’ll spy large glass jars of peanuts, dried red chilies and spices—the contents of which are ground by mortar and pestle to produce what some claim is the city’s best green papaya salad. Order big here, for the portions aren't massive and the food is so terrific you'll inevitably want more. The kitchen is happy to kick things up a notch, spice-wise, but you'll need to request the hotter end of the spectrum for greater authenticity.