Since we have young boys, we often have to go out of our way to find activities that will entertain all of us and, hopefully, tire them out. Today we went to the Kids NY Tennis Expo at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center which allowed our boys to play on US Open tennis courts and then be exhausted enough to sit through lunch. A perfect plan.
In my former life I was spoiled by Chicago Thai food, so whenever I hear about a superb Thai establishment, I try to go. Guided by GPS, we found Ayada and a parking spot, too. On the way, I read aloud an old New York Times review of the restaurant and JB's mouth starting watering.
We arrived around 2 on a Sunday to a small, clean and bright storefront filled with Asian diners (an excellent sign to us.) We were able to secure a table and start skimming the very long menu. And as a somewhat funny surprise, they highlight the New York Times-recommended dishes.
We had a small feast:
- Papaya Salad: JB is always obsessed with this dish whereas I rarely even ask for a taste. It's a simple salad of shredded papaya, this one had dried shrimp and cherry tomatoes with chopped peanuts lodged inside. Yum!
- Sticky Rice: Apparently, sticky rice is a customary side to papaya salad. Sadly, JB did not offer this one up.
- Tom Ka Chicken Soup: We often get this at our local Chinese/Japanese/Thai hoping that it will be good, and we are usually disappointed. Not here. JB did allow me a taste of this delicious coconut milk soup -- I avoided the mushrooms -- as he slurped down the rest he pronounced it perfection.
- Raw Shrimp Salad: Yes, that's correct, raw shrimp salad. This was one of the "recommended" dishes, so I felt compelled. About 10 large shrimp heavily seasoned with chili, lime and garlic covered the plate. It is super spicy. I found myself alternating between this and the papaya salad to calm down the heat. After a few bites though, I was able to really enjoy this delicacy. I recommend this recommendation.
- Pad See Ew with Tofu: Pad See Ew is my favorite Thai noodle dish, so I had to try their version. Wide rice noodles with soy sauce and broccoli are typical for this usually mild dish, but I was feeling adventurous and asked for it spicy. This spice I could handle and the tofu was the perfect complement.
- Jasmine Rice: This was for little D only. Big Z had devoured a concession stand New York soft pretzel after tennis and paid attention mainly to JB's iPhone throughout lunch.
Our lunch bill came to $34 which was a small price to pay for such a treat. JB wanted to order food to take home for dinner, but we decided against it and started the long journey home. As Big Z said, as we got in the car, "I wish this were closer." Me too.
Until our next berger,
78-03 Woodside Ave. (Woodside Ave & 78th St)ayadathaiwoodside.com