Chef Johnny Monis’s subterranean Thai joint hasn’t changed much since it started attracting lines in 2011—and that’s a feat. The flavors of the seven-course, family-style menu are just as vibrant, while the service continues to charm. When the heat level crescendos (which, wow, it does), the mind-reading staff whisks in a fresh bouquet of cooling cucumbers, herbs, and sticky rice. Singha beer, served with ice, or a bottle of Normandy cider is also an excellent antidote. Smoky pork ribs remain one of the best culminations of any meal, though the kitchen occasionally turns out new tricks. Look for khao soi—a homey chicken curry with house-made egg noodles—or milk-tea frozen custard. Expensive.
Also great: Nam prik with pork rinds; pig-ear salad; pork cheek with squid; crunchy tofu salad.