What are a couple of Per Se vets doing in a Thai restaurant off the Bowery? I dunno, but they ought to keep doing it.
Like a lot of chefs trained in fine dining, Matt Danzig and Ann Redding (husband & wife) didn’t try to replicate that model when they struck out on their own. Redding’s from Thailand, Danzig had visited a lot and fell in love with the cuisine.
The early reviews have been mostly rapturous (two stars from Pete Wells), and they’re deserved. Danzig and Redding’s version of Thai cuisine is terrific, and well worth seeking out.
The space is decked out like a Thai tavern (a poor man’s Spice Market), and in a clever nod to the nearby Lighting District, no two light fixtures are the same. The rest of the décor is in dark wood and brick, with leafy plants in the window and an oldie sound track that doesn’t blast. Eater measured the sound level at almost 80db (comparable to a vacuum cleaner or an alarm clock), but we must have lucked out with our corner table: mercifully, we could hear ourselves talk.
The restaurant accepts limited reservations on its website, but many of the seats are reserved for walk-ins. There was nothing available online, but we took a chance at 7pm on a Saturday evening and were seated immediately. An hour or two later that probably wouldn’t have worked.
The Western influence is evident, in a focused menu that is practically old-school, with its recognizable appetizers ($8–15), entrées ($20–28), and side dishes ($3–8). Didn’t anyone tell them you’re not supposed to do that any more?