Friday, December 23, 2011

Little Bangkok In the Strip (Strip District)

On a recent trip to the Strip District I noticed that a Thai restaurant had just opened on Penn Avenue between 19th and 20th Streets.  Yippee!  I was just thinking that I need more Thai food in my life!  So when R.'s mom came to town last weekend for a visit and to do some Strip District shopping, we thought Little Bangkok In the Strip would be the perfect place to lunch.

The restaurant occupies a space that's narrow but deep, with brick walls, exposed pipes, and a very high ceiling.  The decor is simple, yet cozy.  It definitely has a contemporary look and feel.  I'll admit that the atmosphere got me a little concerned that the food wouldn't be very authentic, but it turns out I really shouldn't have judged this book by its cover!

After we placed our orders, we were surprised with bowls of Daikon Radish Soup, compliments of the chef simply because it was a cold day out.   How nice!  The soup is a seasoned light broth with slices of daikon radish, and is very well done.

Daikon Radish Soup at Little Bangkok
Daikon Radish Soup

Because I can never resist curry, I ordered the Green Curry, and selected duck as my meat of choice.  This coconut milk-based curry comes with Thai eggplants, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, and Thai basil.  While the duck was a tad overcooked in some spots, it was overall a very, very good curry.  It is flavorful and packs just the right amount of heat.  While the price is a bit high, the portion is also very large.  I actually took a whole half of this home, so I got two meals out of $15.  Not bad.  Not pictured is the rice that came with the curry, and diners have the choice of white, brown, sticky rice, and more.

Green Curry with Duck at Little Bangkok
Green Curry with Duck ($15)

R. ordered the Thai Rama Chicken.  The chicken is cooked in yellow curry and is served with veggies and a homemade peanut sauce.  The peanut sauce, in particular, was great!

Thai Rama Chicken at Little Bangkok
Thai Rama Chicken ($13)

R. had also ordered a Ginger Tea, of which I do not have a photo, but I had a taste of it and it was really delicious, chock full of fresh ginger taste though sweeter than expected.  I would think it is possible to ask for an unsweetened version though. I hope so anyway.

R.'s mom had ordered the Sweet and Sour with vegetables.  The sweet and sour sauce is homemade, and the veggies included tomatoes, onions, pineapple, cucumbers, and bell peppers.  R.'s mom kept commenting on how the veggies were cooked to perfection - that is, cooked but still crunchy.

We all loved the food.  I later discovered from Pop City Media's write-up that Little Bangkok's chef, Pornpen Thammasaroret, moved to the US from Thailand not too long ago, and what she serves is what she grew up learning to cook.  Not that I'm in any way an authority of authentic Thai cuisine, but I'm really not surprised by this after enjoying our delicious meal at Little Bangkok.  What a great addition to the Strip District!

Restaurant info:
Little Bangkok In the Strip
1906 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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