No. 85, Tofu Soup at Tasty Thai
Hey, kids: guess what time is it? It's time to restart that Long March known as 100 Favorite Dishes (INSERT YEAR). YEAH!!!
Hey, don't ding us for listicles: Weekly DataLab studies show ustedes love this gimmick, launched in honor of our coming Best Of issue. Besides, it is rather fun to do this for us Forkers--an opportunity to highlight dishes from restaurants we'll never fully review, or secrets from old standbys. Anyhoo, let the march begin...
Tasty Thai has but one cook and one server. I know this because said hi to the guy when I had to go through the kitchen on my way to the restroom.
It's nothing short of a magic trick what this guy manages to do in that cramped kitchen, by himself. His menu is insane: at least 20 appetizers, more than 10 salads, a dozen soups, every variety of pan fried noodle imaginable, two dozen kinds of fried rice, grilled Thai BBQ meats, house special dishes that include duck, at least three kinds of fish, and yes, even a fried banana dessert with three distinct preparations of the fruit served with two scoops of coconut ice cream and a plate they set on fire just for the hell of it.
I've not even begun to crack a fraction of his menu, but his simple tofu soup is a dish that makes the place essential, even if that was the only thing he served. The broth is the kind that at first glance, doesn't appear to be anything special, but you'd be dead wrong to assume so. It is, in fact, a nectar so unbelievably good, it trumps their Tom Yum Goong or Tom Kha Gai. Unlike those soups, which relies on a souring agent and coconut milk, this broth is pure in its clearness and intent: to animate the silken cubes of tofu and invigorate the boiled greens and carrots.
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