Cheap Eats 2012: Bangkok Golden

Crispy rice salad. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Crispy rice salad. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Cheap Eats 2012

Thailand’s cuisine is easy to sample in these parts, but the bright, sharp flavors of land-locked Laos? Not so much. So while the Thai menu at this warmly hued cafe is tempting, the real draws are Laotian specialties such as a rice salad studded with ham and flavored with fish sauce or lettuce-leaf roll-ups of garlicky, tomato-laced rice paste with peanuts and scallions.

Lemongrass pork—for added richness, ask if the fatty neck cut is available—is a must, though it’s worth asking what’s best that day. The staff loves sharing kitchen secrets with adventurous diners.

Also good: Deep-fried curry puff; tilapia steamed in a banana leaf.

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