Thai food is underrated. It doesn’t have the uniformity that Chinese food does. Americans like their food to be the same no matter where they go. That’s why they love places like McDonald’s. If you order a Big Mac in Poughkeepsie, it’ll be the same as ordering one in Paramus. That’s why General Tso and his chicken army have spread the love of Chinese food to the masses. Thai food hasn’t yet learned the trick of Americanizing everything, making it regimented and numbering everything in an orderly fashion (damn commies!) My god, the Thai actually have dishes called bad guy prik king (or something)! Despite the filthy connotation, that prik tastes like a sweet, sweet song. Our old standby, Pad Thai, tastes so much better surrounded by Buddhist idols and photos of Thailand’s king (no, not the prik king). It tastes, somehow, more authentic and gritty. It tastes even better when the bill comes, and you realize that this is a lot f’n better than that half-assed sweet & sour chicken you ordered at Happy Fun Family Chinese Cuisine the other night, and just as cheap. So, if you ever find yourself lost in Hell(‘s Kitchen), duck into this Eastern oasis, take a load off and take a seat in the palace. [MF]

761 9th Ave.