I have grown to hate Thanksgiving in the city, because there’s no greater time to feel like a pathetic, friendless, potential jumper. I can deal with a three day weekend, but once you get me to four, I’m at a loss for what to do and I basically turn into a hermit. I didn’t even go out drinking. Yesterday, I was lying around in my pajamas, eating Hot Mix out of a coffee can and watching a scratched Bollywood DVD from Netflix. It was like the desi version of Bridget Jones getting eating by wild dogs.
Fortunately, last night, I was able to leave my imminent death-by-sloth for a while and meet some friends from Ohio (hi, Soma, Anju Mashi and Sankar Uncle!) for dinner at Jaiya, a Thai restaurant at 396 Third Ave (at 28th Street). I now want to eat there again tonight, despite what eating Thai food two days in a row might do to my body (mind you, I don’t think people who are actually Thai have to worry about that). Jaiya is a small space (is there any other kind in this city?), darkly lit for what I presume is ambiance… though that’s ruined by the glare of the giant flat screen TV fixed to one wall. Poring over their haphazardly pasted together menu in that mood lighting and drinking Lipton green tea out of a mug, I wasn’t expecting much. As it always goes with a group of more than two Bengalis, it took us a while to nail down an order, but once we got that important process out of the way, we were in for a culinary delight. We helped ourselves to a ginormous deep fried red snapper, coated in a red curry paste and something else divine, vegetable pad thai (which was not the most spectacular I’ve ever had, but not bad either), a gorgeously spicy chicken with ground pepper and garlic, and a green curry which I did not try as it contained mushrooms and imminent death-by-allergy. (Not as fun as dying of sloth and gluttony.)
At a lot of Asian and South Asian restaurants, you find that everything is cooked in basically the same sauce, with no variety, so I’m always glad to find places that give each dish a distinct personality. The red snapper was slightly sweet while also very hot, while the chicken was a perfect pairing of peppery-ness and garlic… but not garlicky enough to fend off vampires. Just thinking about that combination of spices is making my mouth water.
So, hey, maybe I’m a pathetic, friendless, potential jumper, but at least I know I can plunge to my death on a full stomach!