With the overwhelming number of good things to eat in this city, I find that I rarely become enraptured by a single dish because there is always something just as good or better for me to try. You know, kind of like how women will say that it’s hard to get men to commit in this city because the boys always have an eye out for someone better to come along? Pizza cravings aside, I’m ready to steady date the Ratchaburi noodles, also known as ba mee moo daeng, at Pure Thai Cookhouse in Hell’s Kitchen.
A belated catch-up on a Saturday night meant we did our best to avoid a quick 15-minute noodle feast, despite how the restaurant’s small space and wait for a table encourage such behavior. The appetizer section doesn’t offer any surprises. One out of two we ordered would be the beef buns, as my friend had never tried them. While I wasn’t expecting baos at a Thai restaurant, tender braised meat in a carb vessel are hardly disappointing. I appreciated that the sauce was on the side for my control, as many such buns can become a drag when oversauced.
Pure Thai runs a couple of daily appetizer, entrée, and dessert specials, and our second starter was the calamari special, simply grilled and served with a spicy fish sauce dip. My friend ordered the beef noodle soup entrée special, which had a particularly aromatic broth. My knee-jerk reaction is to compare our bowls to Vietnamese cuisine (bun, pho) because that is what I’m more familiar with, but obviously the smarter thing to do is acknowledge the cross-cultural connections and how cuisine can migrate and shift through immigration and influence. Sometimes I’m too hungry to be smart.