Cheap Eats 2017: Ruan Thai

This 19 year-old restaurant doesn’t feel like fine dining, but the experience here has grace notes—refreshed plates with each course, a spa-like calm—that other places don’t bother with. Nobody in the area does better with yums, the spicy salads made from, say, grilled eggplant or minced catfish and generous fresh lime juice. Don’t leave without something fried, whether a standout duck showered in chilies or the crispy watercress that made the place famous. Also good: Curry puffs; green curry with chicken.

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