Time for Thai with these 3 New York City newcomers

Zenith Thai Restaurant. | Photo: Chanitphon K./Yelp

So you're hungry--and you're ready for some Thai food. Good news: we've found the freshest spots to satisfy your appetite. Here are the newest places to check out the next time you're in the mood for green papaya salad, stir-fried noodles or a hearty curry over rice.

Mekong


917 Columbus Ave., Upper West Side
Photo: D. G./Yelp

Mekong is a Thai and Vietnamese place that recently opened its doors at 917 Columbus Ave. in the Upper West Side. It features classics of both countries' cuisines, plus a few pan-Asian dishes, for dine-in, takeout and delivery, as we recently reported.

Starters like shrimp shu mai and tempura accompany Vietnamese classics like grilled pork banh mi and beef brisket pho, or house specialties such as crispy duck with tamarind sauce, fried shallot and steamed vegetables and soft-shell green crab curry.

You can take a look at the full menu here; free delivery is available with a minimum $15 purchase.

With a five-star Yelp rating out of 10 reviews, Mekong is on its way to building a local fan base.

"This has become my favorite place for Vietnamese food in UWS," wrote Yelper Dac Minh L. "I tried the Bun Thit Nuong which was very delicious and authentic, but didn't get a chance to try any Thai food cause I was too full."

And Chrissy I. agreed about the authenticity of the Vietnamese cuisine, and noted, "Expect to pay a little bit more (12.95 for Pho Tai), but the ambiance is beautiful, a perfect "date" restaurant."

Mekong is open from 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. daily.

Thai Direct Bowls


131 Ave. A, Floor 1, East Village
Photo: Thai Direct bowls/Yelp

Thai Direct Bowls is a fast-casual joint for customizable, healthy meals-in-a-bowl made with Thai flavors. The new location at 131 Ave. Ain the East Village follows a stint operating out of the Hill & Dale gastropub on the Lower East Side.

All sauces on the menu are gluten- and dairy-free, including those found in signature bowls like the Always Som Tum, with coconut rice, grilled shrimp, shredded green papaya, grapefruit and veggies with Thai Som Tum sauce.

Customers can also make their own bowls with a choice of base, protein, veggies, sauce and toppings. The new eatery offers delivery through Seamless (Grubhub), UberEATS, Doordash, Postmate and Amazon. (You can check out the full menu and order online at the restaurant's website.)

So far, Yelp users have been generally positive about Thai Direct Bowls, which currently holds four stars out of three reviews on the site.

"It's kinda like Chipotle concept but with Thai flavors," wrote Yelper Kira F., who reviewed Thai Direct Bowls on September 29. "Super healthy, came out in 10 minutes."

"I got the Khao Man Gai, which had good flavor, a healthy portion of chicken, and the sauce was tasty," Corey G. approved. "I would have preferred a bit more rice, but for $12 I was happy with the quantity and quality that I got."

Thai Direct Bowls is open from 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. daily.

Zenith Thai Restaurant


7002 Fresh Pond Road, Ridgewood
Photo: Diana F./Yelp

Zenith Thai Restaurant is a Thai place located at 7002 Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood.

On the menu, diners will find Thai classics like pork larb with lime, chilies and fish sauce; green papaya salad with baby dried shrimps; and house specialties like pan-seared salmon with spicy basil sauce, onions, bell peppers and string beans. (You can check out the full menu and order online here.)

There are also weekday lunch specials that come with one appetizer and one entree, and the restaurant offers free delivery within a mile with a minimum order of $18.

Yelp users are generally positive about the new spot, which currently holds four stars out of 34 reviews on the site.

"The food is very good, the service is great, and the ambience is nice," wrote Yelper Doreen L. "The papaya salad was moderately spicy and had a delightful crunch. The pork belly was crispy, it was perfect with the sauteed onions and peppers."

And Alicia B. agreed, "I got the Bamboo option with chicken - so flavorful. It was the right amount of spicy. ... The serving sizes were good enough and the server was so helpful and attentive."

Zenith Thai Restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and 5 p.m.-11 p.m. on Friday, noon-11 p.m. on Saturday, and noon-10:30 p.m. on Sunday.
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