My wife and I were staying in an apartment at the Hotel Beacon on Broadway loving every minute of our 8 day vacation in Manhattan, New York. Up til Thursday, Sept 30th ( our 6th day ) we had dined out a number of times for lunch but only once for dinner. After a huge day visiting the Statue of Liberty we decided to go Asian for dinner. My wife found a couple of excellent restaurants not far from our hotel and we decided to phone Sala Thai to make a dinner reservation for 6.30pm.
Meanwhile I tossed down a very good hazy juicy IPA to knock out the cobwebs and then we left for Sala Thai which was just a 5 minute walk around the corner. When we arrived around 6.15pm the sidewalk outside the restaurant was a hive of activity. THIS IS A VERY POPULAR RESTAURANT we suddenly realized. There were a few vacant tables on their outdoor patio but we almost always prefer to dine inside. I had a chat with a lovely hostess named Pam to make sure we were seated inside.
AND SO IT WAS ! We walked past a full bar and up a few stairs to a row of tables separated by perspex screens. We made ourselves at home while admiring the beautiful decor adorning the walls throughout the restaurant dining area. Our chairs were very comfortable. A charming guy named Beck politely introduced himself as our server for the evening. Glasses of iced water plus a full carafe soon came out. We checked out the dinner menu which threw up a few new challenges at us . . a quite different Thai menu to the West Coast cousins or even back home in Australia. ALL THE MORE FUN ! Gee they even had a handful of non Thai beers on their list.
I asked for the All Day IPA ( it was Founder’s All Day IPA – 4.7% abv ) on tap while my wife requested a Thai Iced Tea. The Grilled Scallop Appetizer ( Sear marinated Scallops in skewers with Thai sweet and spicy sauce ) looked a winner. My wife loves beef short rib so the SHORT RIB BEEF PANANG Entree ( Braised Tender Short Rib, String Bean and Sweet Potatoes in Panang Curry Sauce ) was her choice while I am a mixed seafood nut and went for the TALAY THAI Entree ( Shrimp, Squid, Scallops, New Zealand Mussels, Chili, Long Chili, Chili Jam, Coconut Milk and Basil Leaves ). My ice cold All Day IPA arrived and tasted fine for a very mild IPA. And my wife loved her creamy Thai Iced Tea.
Shortly after our Grilled Scallop Appetizer hit our table courtesy of Bo the cool food runner. There were 8 medium size scallops divided on 2 skewers plus a pretty side salad. The Thai Sweet and Spicy Sauce was killer good and the juicy scallops were gently seared to perfection. SENSATIONAL IN A WORD ! We were very impressed so far. The interior of the restaurant has a classy Bohemian look and a happening now vibe. Our incredible looking entrees arrived together . . mmmm which one looked better ? I will call it a tie for the GOLD MEDAL ! My wife was in raptures enjoying her perfectly cooked Short Rib Beef Panang. The tender beef . . drenched in the Panag Curry Sauce literally jumped off the bones.
It tasted like A SLICE OF HEAVEN . . I tasted it too ! My Tala Thai seafood combo was as good as it gets . . everything tender nothing chewy. I LOVED IT ! The classy restaurant was really pumping by now . . filled to capacity inside and out. THIS WAS A PLACE TO BE ! And then our favorite word came up . . DESSERT. I asked Beck our kind server for the dessert menu which featured more than the usual suspects. Of course I am a big time sucker for FRIED BANANA WITH COCONUT ICE CREAM so that’s what I ordered. My wife was enthralled to see CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE ( served with Tahitian Ice Cream ) and went with that. And very soon Bo the cool food runner delivered our 2 desserts.
They look BEAUTIFULLY PLATED and tasted simply extraordinary. My wife could taste creamy Thai Tea inside the chocolate lava cake . . a beautiful surprise. My Fried Banana with Coconut Ice Cream was way different to our West Coast model . . it was like a big banana fritter oozing with chocolate sauce. OMG was it good ! We kept patting each other on the back for choosing this amazing restaurant just around the corner from our hotel. We came back the very next night and it was still great !