Either choose to be seated at the traditional, more formal Talesai Cafe, or sit at the wooden communal tables at Night + Market for an extra spicy adventure in Thai street food.
So which restaurant calls your name?
If a James Beard Award nomination and a nod from Jonathan Gold mean anything to you, the choice falls off your mouth-watering lips with the unwavering certainty of a moth to a flame: "Two for Night + Market, please". Honestly, I made that call with the same involuntary certitude it takes my heart to beat or my eyes to blink. And don't be surprised if after trying a few of Kris's vibrantly delicious dishes, that heart of yours does skip a beat.
The Som Tum Papaya Salad ($7) with green papaya, tomatoes, and lemon juice was light and refreshing. The green papaya had a texture similar to that of cucumber but less watery. The lemon juice kept the salad light and zesty and was a pleasant accompaniment to the more pungent flavors of the other dishes.
After a wild night packed with chili and ginger and pure hotness, this ice cream sandwich was like the cool feel of bed sheets on a hot summer night.
Night + Market is a trip to Thailand where the street vendor's carts are all safe to eat, i.e., a dream come true. The food and the chef alike have been showered in accolades, and yet the hype and admiration haven't turned the restaurant into a trendy, elbow-rubber's paradise. Why not? Because it doesn't need to be a hotspot when the kitchen can handle the heat.