Craig LaBan explores Newbold’s Circles and finds that the modest Thai restaurant might just be tops of our Thai restaurant heap.
I especially loved the massaman curry – its turmeric-yellow, coriander-infused broth not as thick as typical versions, popping with the texture of roasty peanuts against soft potato. Other curries – the red, the Penang – are similar but subtly different.
Boonphaya’s authentic touch, meanwhile, also shined in house-made Isaan-style sausages vivid with lemongrass and rice; in the spicy tang of ground pork nam sod salad; in the deeply sour and herbaceous tom kha soup; and in the grilled calamari, so nicely tender, that basked in lime and fish sauce. Also, don’t miss the crispy-skinned “Thai rolls” stuffed with ground pork, black mushrooms, and crunchy water chestnuts. The contrast of briny shrimp paste and sweet lumps of crustacean made the crab fried rice addictive, another example of the high-quality ingredients this little cafe uses.
Two Bells – Very Good