Night+Market hosted by Wildair

Wildair, 142 Orchard, has a no reservation policy so I came at the opening, which turned out to be a my best decision in years, as the place was soon packed.
Fried Squid with nam prik gapi - beautifully crisp fry great dip, would have made any supper bowl table a hit
Gaeng Hanglay Moo - complex fine version. With rice I could have had this alone and been happy
Crispy Rice Salad - great rice based trail mix. Take a spoonful and smile
Beef tartre larb - came off more like a tartre not dressed pretty stark
Gai Tod Naeng Noi - A star dish at Song, the chicken thigh was fried well but the nam prik noon seemed different here, blander.
Fine night of eating. Sadly some of the dishes I looked forward to having again, the sausages and the northern larb, and their Khao Soi, got left in LA.

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Thanks for the report. Did you try any of Wildair’s own offerings? They make a pretty good beef tartare.

Happy new year!

I was there as well. There were some Night + Market classics and then four or five collaboration dishes between Yenbamroong and the Wildair guys, but no dishes that were uniquely Wildair’s. The beef tartare was a collaboration they called larb. According to instagram, the dish used beet juice and rendered beef fat instead of the raw blood that NM usually uses. It had some of the earthiness you’d associate with the raw blood, but it didn’t have much of the spice that a larb would have. Likewise, the fried squid dish (which is a Wildair classic) was served with a pungent nam prik that worked really well in my opinion. The only Night + Market dish I ordered was the nam khao tod which was as good as it always is.

There was a tangerine granita over a coconut panna cotta that was pretty exceptional.

I talked to Kris Yenbamroong and he said he toned down the heat a good amount in the nam khao tod to match up with New Yorker’s tastes. Granted, it was still hot as hell, but I found it very interesting that he felt the need mellow the flavors out a bit. Mainly because everytime I eat a non-European cuisine here, the flavors are so much less intense and vibrant than they are in LA places. (I’m looking at you Cosme/every Thai place I’ve been to.)


Cuz, them be fightin’ words

I’d love to be proven wrong! But my goodness what does that say if an LA chef tones things down. You got any places I should check out?


No, I don’t. I was actually agreeing with your assessment at least for Manhattan restaurants and Manhattanites.

Better luck in places in Queens like Jackson Heights, or parts of Brooklyn, me thinks.

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The heat level was different from what I have had at Song in LA, and I prefer the heat higher. Of more concern is the perceived need to choose between pleasing the crowds v cooking each dish as fantastic as can be done. As fine as some of the food at Uncle Boons is my sense is they could be even better if the cooks would care less about the audience. When eating at Chiang Mai (please reopen soon ) in Red Hook this thought never entered my mind