In Bangkok earlier this month, my friends and I followed the advice of a commenter on Chowhound and visited Khrua Rommai, a quaint little outdoor restaurant tucked away in an alley a few Skytrain stops from our hotel. The restaurant specializes in cuisine from Isan, a province in northeastern Thailand.
Isan food is characterized mainly by the accompaniment of sticky rice along with the meal, and previous diners’ raves all mentioned the larb, a ground pork dish with Thai basil, chilies and other delicious bits. The dish is accompanied by fresh greens, and eaten together with the pork the larb makes a tasty salad-like dish, except that anything resembling salad dressing in this case is actually pork juices (and really, how can that be bad?). Isan cuisine adopted larb from the Laotians, and I’ve seen it on menus in Thai restaurants in the U.S.
In addition to the larb, we ordered just about every curry on the menu. We loved them all, especially when we hit gold with the massaman curry, a rich curry with chicken, potatoes, and peanuts. Even though it was one of the last dishes to arrive at our table, it was the first one completely devoured. After we’d polished off most of the dish, I briefly considered using my napkin to wipe up the last little bits, then sucking on said napkin, but reminded myself that’d be rude. And really, really weird.
Khrua Rommai | 16 Sukhumvit Soi 36 (take the Skytrain to the Thong Lo Station) | Bangkok