Isan cooking maven Ratchanee Sumpatboon cooks pungent and fiery northeastern Thai food at Larb Ubol in Hell’s Kitchen, and she’s likewise lent her creativity to the menus at both locations of Lan Larb (227 Centre Street, 646-895-9264). But instead of sticking rigidly to the Isan playbook — which favors intensely sour and spicy flavors — she offers a diversified roster of gems in her role as consultant, including ba mee, a straightforward and wonderfully nuanced street food staple.
The industrious dish piles yu choy greens, slices of barbecued pork, and lump crab littered with scallions over thin, springy egg noodles twirled into a nest. Mix them up and eat them dry, or pour in the accompanying bowl of aromatic pork broth to stir up some pervasively savory surf-and-turf. Both swine and crustacean bring sweetness to the table, mellowed out by rich stock and toothsome noodles. In a city that often doles out wan Southeast Asian soups, Sumpatboon’s recipes cement her status as one of New York’s best Thai chefs. The $11 bowl makes for a hearty and satisfying lunch or dinner.
The Village Voice is counting down to our Best of New York City issue in October. We’re combing the city every day, one dish at a time, to guide you to the most delicious food in NYC. These are our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2015, in no particular order, save for the top 10. To read about previous dishes, browse our 100 Favorite Dishes page.