Among the many great Thai dishes we were fortunate to try in putting together this survey, the one we find ourselves thinking about most is an appetizer called, appropriately, Yum Watercress—a crisp, lacy pancake of watercress, minced shrimp and squid, slivered red onion, and toasted cashews, which you break up and dip into a spicy, lime-spiked fish sauce. Like much of the cooking at this trusty spot, it manages to taste comforting even as it challenges the palate. There are Thai places that deliver more pizzazz or novelty, but none achieves such consistency year in and year out. And none feels quite so satisfying.
Also good: Crab-and-pork-stuffed chicken wings; mussels in black-bean sauce; crispy duck with basil; mooh phing, skewers of grilled pork with sticky rice; crispy whole fish with red curry.