missmasala's Profile

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Kao Soy--new Thai in Red Hook

Been getting a lot of take out from Kao Soy recently and I keep being happier and happier that this restaurant opened in Brooklyn. As a Carroll Gardens resident, not having to go to queens for an excellent, reasonably priced Thai meal has been a game changer for my family. Still don't think their curries or sauteed dishes stand up to the good Queens places, but the things they do well they do excellently, including that pomelo salad (made with pink grapefuit tonight, but I'm not complaining) Plus, they are not afraid to up the spice levels if you ask. Last week we had a som tam that was the hottest Thai dish I have eaten in NYC in years. And, it was excellent.
I just hope they do enough business to stay around.

Dec 13, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Chinese dinner (NOT dim sum) in Sunset Park - who's good these days?

This is a perpetual problem for me, too. I never know where to go for dinner in Sunset Park.
If I had to choose right now I would go to East Harbor for dinner, but only because we ordered some menu items the last time we had dim sum there and they were good. But it was just simple stuff, like noodles, so no idea what their other dishes are like.

Dec 13, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Gold Label on Brighton Beach

I've been to the one in the old theater. It's ok. Nice bread selection. I like brighton bazaar better.

Dec 13, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Kao Soy--new Thai in Red Hook

I said that because some would argue that pok pok is as good as kao soy. I'm not a big pok pok fan, but I will admit that they do some things pretty well.

Nov 04, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Kao Soy--new Thai in Red Hook

Well I'd rather eat in Chiang Mai than at kao soy, so you're lucky. Our green curry did not have any zucchini in it. It had the small green eggplants--not the pea ones, but the larger ones (sri puts these in their green curry as well) I wonder if the poster who mentioned zucchini mis-identified the eggplants or if, on that day, they were out of eggplant and subbed zucchini?
I was happy about the two cuts of pork in the Hang Lay, as when it's all pork belly, it can get too fatty.

Nov 02, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

D'Amico gone?

The lamentation list is mighty long these days, what with Good Food and Mastellone's both closing in the past year as well. I am also grateful for what's still around.

Nov 01, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Kao Soy--new Thai in Red Hook

Finally made it here this week. Couldn't wait, as I was excited about having a good thai restaurant in my neighborhood (or at least very near) so I wouldn't have to go to queens.
We had: banana fritters, khanom jeeb (the dumplings) the shrimp spring roll things, the pomelo salad, green curry with tofu, sai oua (the sausage), fried beef with holy basil, and the pork stew with the fried chicken leg (can't remember the name.)
The banana fritters were tasty but could have been fried a little better. The other apps were fine--not things I would order but the kids wanted them. The nam prik that came with the spring rolls was excellent, notably better than any I've had outside of thailand. I loved the pomelo salad, though the shrimp felt like an afterthought. The pomelo was super fresh and it had a slow burn and a nice funk from fish sauce. The green curry was okay but not great, mainly ordered for the vegetarian kid. Sri's version is much better. However, I wouldn't expect a northern thai place to do a great curry. Next time we will get the khao soy instead. The beef with basil was merely okay also, but also ordered for one of the kids. Better versions to be had other places.
However, the pork stew and the sai oua were both outstanding and the portions were huge. I would go back for these two dishes. I was particularly excited about the sai oua, as this sausage is hard to find in nyc and somehow I managed not to have any on my trip back to bangkok this summer. If I had one quibble, it was that the sai oua and the noom prik served with it were both slightly, strangely sweet.
However, all in all, this is a super-exciting restaurant opening, particularly as I am not a huge fan of pok pok. The place is quite small, though, (with only 2 four-tops) and it got packed during our meal on a weds night, so I suspect that soon it will be difficult to get a table without a wait.
I don't know a huge amount about northern thai food and in general prefer isan and central thai cooking, but the food here is clearly a notch above almost any other thai restaurant in brooklyn. It would be great if a hound who is super familiar with Chiang Mai or northern style food, like El Jefe, could weigh in.
And it seems, between this and Pok Pok, as if this area of brooklyn is staking out a claim on northern style food, since these are the only two thai places I know of that specialize in this region.

Nov 01, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Nino's Spinach Pie - Anything Like It Out There?

She must have meant Francesco's which occupies the space that was Nino's dining room. Just noticed it this morning. Had forgotten about it, but it was on my mind because of this thread. I have actually never been in there, so don't know if it is run by the Nino's people or not. I have seen one of the Nino's guys running Cataldo's, however.

Oct 19, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Paw paw

Your brother could set up a business for some paw paw loving chowhounds!

Oct 17, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Paw paw

I always thought pawpaw was just another name for papaya. Are they a completely different fruit, Dave?

Oct 14, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Nino's Spinach Pie - Anything Like It Out There?

I think the Nino's guys now run Cataldo's on Vanderbilt Ave in Prospect Heights, so maybe try there?
I live in CG and sorely miss Nino's.
To the poster who said they moved across the street, where exactly would that be? I haven't noticed any place like that.

Oct 14, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Al Di La - Whats Good These Days

Glad you had a great meal and liked the affogato. After I wrote that I started craving it, so I'm going to have to head back to Al di La soon!

Sep 14, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Al Di La - Whats Good These Days

Like Jen, it's been a while, but I really liked their polenta with greens and an egg. Also not crazy about the beet ravioli, but the malfatti are good. Most of the pastas and salads are very good. I haven't had as many of their mains. They also do an excellent affogato (homemade vanilla ice cream "drowned" in a shot of espresso) I'm not a coffee drinker but I love this dessert. Unfortunately, I can only order it at lunch or I'm up all night.

Sep 10, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Moldavian Cherry Preserves?

I have no idea if these are what you're looking for, but at brick oven bread on king's highway last year I bought a jar of georgian cherry preserves that turned out to be small sour cherries (with pits) suspended in a liquidy syrup. Though not useful for toast, the cherries were delicious and I ended up using them and the syrup in cocktails. They definitely had a sort of spicy flavor. Just finished the jar and recycled it, or I would post a pic here.

Aug 04, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Khao Kang in Elmhurst?

I just ate in one of those cafeteria places in Thailand. It wasn't small, though, and the dish choices were numerous. What I liked about it was there were dishes that I hadn't seen on restaurant menus and hadn't had before, like a delicious green bean curry in a sort of sour curry sauce. If Khao Kang is offering dishes that aren't on other Thai menus, that would be a plus.

Also, how would a vegetarian fare there? Need to be able to feed the vegetarian for a family meal. She would probably be willing to eat the sauce from a curry if they would leave off the meat for her. Are there a lot of vegetable options or would they be able to give her scoops of things without the meat?

Aug 04, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Generous portions, cheap prices, good food--is it possible in NYC anymore?

I have 2 suggestions for you:

1. Consider upping your limit to $20. Years (okay decades) ago, the litmus test for me for a good cheap meal in NYC was $5-$10, but now it's really $10-20. There are lots of great meals to be had for under $20 in the areas you describe, though perhaps not that many dinners in a nice, unhurried environment. Which brings me to my second suggestion, one that I follow quite often:
2. Consider eating out for lunch instead of dinner. Many restaurants offer very cheap, large, and filling lunch specials, and, since it's not the coveted dinner hour, you can sit, enjoy, and linger as long as you like. If your schedule allows for it, poke around for some good lunch specials in the neighborhoods you want and try those. I find a leisurely lunch to be a very pleasurable meal to eat out.

Bostonians stayting in Brooklyn, need advice

Lots of good recs on this board. If you guys are avid bikers then biking to coney island should be fine. we do it several times a year from pretty near where you are staying. we take the bike path down ocean parkway. it's a nice ride. If you go down to coney island on a thurs-sun i recommend getting pizza at totonno's. great pizza and a real new york experience. brighton beach is also totally worth a stroll and a nosh.
Not sure about patties, but check out the doubles at A&A on Nostrand ave in bed stuy. A great west indian snack of curried chickpeas sandwiched in between fried roti breads.
Pok Pok is good, upscale thai, but I agree that you are also close to east village, where you will get excellent thai at zabb elee. or bite the bullet and trek to queens, where the best thai is. Though it can be uneven, sripraphai is still my fave, mainly for the breadth of the menu--you can get almost anything there, though not everything is a sublime rendtion.
Mexican in sunset park is also good. Agree that tacos el bronco is great.
And definitely check out the stuff close by on Atlantic, like Sahadi's and Damascus. Every time I go in those stores, I'm happy that I live nearby. You could get great picnic fare from these stores and spend the day in brooklyn bridge park
Also agree that red hook is worth a stroll. love the sandwiches at defontes. I'm not crazy about the good fork, but everyone else likes it, so it must be me.
People like the bagels and lox at shelsky's, an appetizing place on smith st not too far from you, but I never go, so can't vouch for them.
Another option is polish in greenpoint--lots of good, cheap restaurants there. It's an old polish neighborhood that is turning hipster at a quick pace.
For indian, i will recommend dosa royale on court street in carroll gardens. it's more upscale than most indians, but the food is good, esp the dosas, the lamb curries, and the okra. A very good meal and some nice cocktails can be had there. Plus, it's probably walkable from your hotel.

May 19, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Lahori Chilli and Sweets, Coney Is. Ave...

Yes, it looks more like keema than haleem, though not like any keema I've ever seen or made.
Haleem is a real treat for me, as I don't make it and no one else in my family likes it, so we tend not to get it when we all go out. So I can only get it from those storefronts as part of a plate lunch or dinner.

Apr 17, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Lahori Chilli and Sweets, Coney Is. Ave...

Haleem? That's one of my faves. When it's good, it's great!

Apr 08, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn Chinese or Chinese-ish for 20th Anniversary dinner?

Second on Pacificana not being what it used to be. The food has gotten very mediocre and, while the space is stunning, the decor has also gotten a little run-down.

If Chinese is what you want, I agree with the rec for East Harbor. But, while the food is good, the atmosphere is that of a giant dim sum palace. If that's not what you want, and if, by Chinese or Asian-Fusion, you mean any cuisine that clearly has a chinese influence, then may I suggest these, in no particular order:

Pok Pok in Cobble Hill--Thai, which is a cuisine heavily influenced by China

Purple Yam in Ditmas Par--Filipino, ditto

Nightingale 9 in Carroll Gardens--Vietnamese, ditto

Talde in Park Slope--pan-asian, not my favorite but probably the most upscale in atmosphere

I'm sure there are others, particularly in Williamsburg, that I am omitting.

At all of these you can have a festive meal (cocktails etc) but also fine places to bring a child. Haven't been to Purple Yam or Talde in years. Pok Pok and Nightingale 9 are good, though IMHO overpriced, but I'm usually willing to overlook that for special occasion meals.

If this is the kind of thing you had in mind (rather than dim sum parlors and food courts) speak up, because I'm sure there are other good places like these that I don't know about but other hounders do. For instance, is Uni Nom still around?

Apr 03, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Your Favorite Carrot Recipe

I'm late to this thread, but here are three carrot recipes I love:

1. "Morroccan" carrot salad--I make it with roasted carrots, crushed coriander seeds, garlic, cumin, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, and fresh cilantro. Sometimes I throw some toasted walnuts in as well. Every time I serve this, someone always asks for the recipe.

2. Amanda Hesser's carrot and watercress salad with curry leaves and mustard seeds from the New York Times a few years ago. This salad is amazing--nutty, crunchy, bitter from the watercress and sweet from the carrots. I love this salad.
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/13/din...

3. "Korean" carrot salad--this is actually a dish served in central asian (ie. Bukharan) restaurants. It's a grated carrot salad with garlic, cilantro, and lemon juice or vinegar. Simple but good. There are tons of recipes on the web. Look it up.

It seems to me that having grated carrots around can allow you to make a salad that goes in any flavor direction to match the cuisine you are cooking.

Also, and this isn't really a recipe, but I sometimes use shredded carrots instead of papaya to make a thai-style "som tam."

Feb 14, 2014
missmasala in Home Cooking

Advice for making Bo Ssam (Aka Korean pork shoulder)

That's funny, to me, it looks like the pork has no skin in the photos.
This is a question I have been trying to get the answer to for a couple of years, and I haven't been able to get a definitive one. I guess I will just have to go to Momofuku and have it myself.
I like skin, so I have been making it with the skin, but think the crust might be better without the skin. I like msonycs idea of cooking the skin separately, and may try that next time.

Jan 13, 2014
missmasala in Home Cooking

Dosa Royale (Long)

I've only been to Dosa Garden once, a couple of years ago. I had high expectations because at the time it was getting a lot of love on this board, but I found it somewhat disappointing. I remember the dosa being only so-so. Part of the problem was that I was with people who preferred more typical Indian restaurant fare, so we ordered a lot of dishes that Dosa Garden probably doesn't excel at. Next time I am on SI and craving Indian (and not Sri Lankan) I will give it another chance.

Jan 06, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Dosa Royale (Long)

They may have been shallots and not red onions. I wasn't paying that close attention.
Though now that I think about it, I think I might prefer yellow or white onions in my uttapam. I think shallots would be too sweet.

Jan 06, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Dosa Royale (Long)

I think the rava masala dosa did have red onions in it. But I'm still confused: regular red or even yellow onions as opposed to what kind of onions? Special Indian onions?

Jan 01, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Dosa Royale (Long)

Court street between Sackett and Degraw streets in Carroll Gardens.

Jan 01, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Dosa Royale (Long)

Didn't try the uttapam. However, forgot to add in my report that we also had the onion rava dosa. The flavor was good, but it was a little greasy and soggy due to the way it was folded on the plate. Which is the way rava dosas are usually folded, but somehow other ones I have had do not end up as soggy/greasy. The regular dosas were way better.
Not sure why we didn't try the uttapam, as I am an uttapam fan.
And not sure what you mean by good onions. Not sure I paid enough attention to the onions in the rava dosa to know if they were "good" or not.

Jan 01, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Dosa Royale (Long)

Was so excited to see the sign for this place going up right in my neighborhood. AFAIK, this is the first south Indian restaurant in Brooklyn. Finally went, with a big family group, so we tried what felt like almost everything on the menu.

Drinks: We didn't have cocktails but we did have mango lassis, which were delicious—I think they use a high quality mango pulp to make them. Wish they were a little bigger for the price, but they were rich and I would order one again.

the veg and the non-veg thali: The non-veg thali had a fish curry and an egg curry on it. I didn't try the fish curry and the egg curry was only ok. All in all, I was not super impressed by the thalis. First of all, the rice was cold and a little bit hard, as if they had tried to warm up yesterday's but hadn't nuked it enough in the microwave. Also, it had too many similar dishes on it--ie. rasam, samber, and two other dal-like dishes. I'm no fan of rasam, but the other ones were good. I just wish they had swapped out one or two of those for more vegetable dishes and a salad. The carrot sweet with the thali was very good, as was the paratha that came with it.

Dosas: The regular dosas were large and well-made. The dosa royale is huge and comes with 3 kinds of fillings--one would easily feed two people. While I liked the fillings, I didn't like them in the dosa. I'm a traditionalist and really only like the potato masala filling in my dosa, if that. Next time I would order the fillings on the side. We tried to do that this time, but the kitchen didn't comply.
The dosas came with sambar (tasty) and two chutneys. The coconut chutney was pretty flavorless, but that's a lament I have at almost all south Indian places. I've yet to have any coconut chutney like I get in India.

Idli: The flavor of these were good, but they were too dense and dry. I am still searching for good idli in the NYC area. There are a couple of places that do decent ones sometimes, but they are really hit or miss.

Curries: We ordered both the chicken and the lamb. The gravies of both were delicious, but the lamb pieces in the curry were a little small and sort of mysterious. I think the chicken was a little better. The curry portions also seemed a little small.

We also ordered the okra that is listed as an appetizer and that was outstanding. And a side order of puri was also good.

I can't remember what else we had, but my overall impression was positive. The service was pretty good—I liked our waiter and the host, but the guy running the food from the kitchen bordered on the surly and just kind of plunked stuff down in an angry way, which was off-putting. Still, my family liked the dosas enough to go back the next night again,but without me.

The bottom line is that it's a nice addition to Brooklyn and I'm happy to have it in my neighborhood, but if I want a thali and not dosa or meat curries, I will head to Saravannas or some place on Lex in Manhattan.

Dec 31, 2013
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

School me on Trinidadian food, please!

I'm a big Singh's fan, too. Their rotis and doubles are great. Not sure it's worth trekking all the way out there if you have Ali's and A&A close by, but Singh's is very good if you happen to be in the area. Think I tried Sylvie's once and preferred Singh's, but once is probably not enough to make an informed decision.

Dec 31, 2013
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Wheated - Church Avenue - loved it!

Yes, that's the place. Never knew the lady's name but she was really nice. I wonder what happened to her. If she had another place, I would seek it out.

Nov 29, 2013
missmasala in Outer Boroughs