Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Thai tasting, a long night's slog

After weeks of trying to get a band of eaters together, I finally made it out to Som's on Algier St, near Rockwell. Recommended by a number of bloggers/divers/friends, I met up with two friends for a long night out of al fresco dining (complimentary diesel fumes).

Fine dining, Som's is not. It's a makeshift canteen the owners opened up in the front of their home. The neighborhood is residential, back of a long row of restaurants facing Rockwell Drive/Kalayaan Extension. According to one of my fellow eaters, the place has been around for years, as the owner/chef is a transplanted Thai chef, formerly of Sukothai restaurant, married to a Filipina (I wonder how many restaurants are set up in that same pattern: foreigner married to Pinay, opens up restaurant? I imagine a lot in this country.). Som's is the name of their child, but we weren't sure if we met the namesake that night.

We arrived before 7:30 and we were one of three tables occupying the raised sidewalk cum eating terrace. By 10 p.m., there were additional tables set up on the street and a good rate of takeout orders filled. On a Monday night too.

I had been told to order the curries and the ice tea. We also tried the tom yum, the phad thai, and one of the fried rice with shrimp and basil. Other dishes on the menu included a good number of noodle soups, chicken in oyster sauce, spring rolls, and fried tofu. The most expensive dish was P70, so you can eat a lot here and not spend a great deal.

Of our choices, the curries were a hit, I enjoyed both the green and the red, although I'll follow the tip to ask for it extra spicy next time. The Shrimp fried rice with basil was an odd combination of whole shrimp with basil in an onion slathered sauce with a scoop of white rice (not fried at all) and a fried egg on top. And the phad thai used egg noodles or some other rice noodle, not the flat noodles usually used for the dish. It was also strangely orange with not that much in terms of tofu/legumes/shrimp or peanuts. Not one of the better dishes.

I'd like to see more green vegetable choices, but knowing an inexpensive and tasty curry is available makes Soms a good place to return to. Note to self: wear pants or bring Off Lotion next time.

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