There is a definite glut of Thai restaurants in this part of Hell’s Kitchen. Perhaps it’s because Thai is quickly becoming the New York office workers’ Asian food of choice for non take-out, or perhaps because there is already a proliferation of authentic Chinese joints where one can get like three pounds of chow mien for $2.99. Whatever the case, I once saw the fat content in a plate of pad Thai in a magazine article and almost spat out my colon, so anybody who thinks she’s doing herself a favor by skipping the pizza and going Thai has another ripple coming to her. In any case, Thai Select has thrown its hat into the pad Thai lunch ring, going the tinniest bit upscale, with a funky interior designed by West Elm meets Koreatown. Exposed brick walls and a lit ceiling “painted” like a blue sky complete with clouds gives the place an air of, well, air, and the mosaic tile on the building’s facade certainly catches passers’ by eye. The lunch crowd is composed of a bunch of white folks from the neighborhood, with me being the lone idiot waiting to take his noodles back to his desk. It wasn’t the quickest meal I’ve ever ordered, and my waiting space at the awkwardly small “bar” was an exercise in abject head-shaking (at all the nonsense going on in the tiny Plexiglas box of a kitchen.) It turns out that the pad Thai was in fact not too bad, and if memory serves me right was actually pretty darn good. Granted, it’s really tough to make something that has about 600 calories and 30 grams of fat taste bad. With those stats, the thing should make me a slave to its deliciousness and make me want to call it master. I’ve since discovered that my metabolism probably can’t handle a mid-afternoon meal that heavy, but I will have fond memories of Thai Select and what once was. [MF]
472 9th Ave.