Photos by Jennifer Fedrizzi Killer khao soi
Have you ever had something so spicy it burns the skin? It happened to me with S.T. Noodle Bar's khao soi, a bowl of flat, yellow egg noodles drowned in a coconut-curry broth. I ordered it medium, which I believe is the standard there, and in the middle of my slurping, a few drops of the yellow liquid dribbled down my chin. First, I felt a warmness there. Then it actually stung. I realized then that what the restaurant called its medium level of spice was probably as hot as I could handle. There were still two levels above that--spicy and extra-spicy--but here I was, not even halfway through the bowl, and my whole mouth throbbed and my brow had turned into Niagara Falls. If you had sat across the table from me, you would've thought I was in pain, but instead, I was in a euphoric state of endorphin-fueled pleasure, with John Mellencamp's "Hurts So Good" playing in my head.