Somtum Der's Tum Poo-Plara, One of Our 100 Favorite Dishes

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No. 11: Tum poo-plara from Somtum Der (85 Avenue A, 212-260-8570).

At an Isan restaurant that specializes in papaya salad, this one rises to the very top.

"We focused on the authenticity of papaya salad," Thanaruek "Eh" Laoraowirodge told Fork in the Road when he opened up Somtum Der, an offshoot of his original Bangkok restaurant, in the East Village this summer. That means eight different varieties of the dish on the menu, which range from what Americans will recognize as the most basic version--with crisp strands of shredded green papaya, snap beans, cherry tomatoes, and crunchy peanuts mixed into the fish sauce- and lime-soaked nest--to renditions made with salted egg, mackerel, and fermented fish. It's worth eating your way through the list, but our favorite is the tum poo-plara, a version that adds tiny crabs plucked from rice fields and a stronger flavored fermented fish sauce to the northeastern Thai specialty. Dial the heat up for a slow scorch alongside the sweet and tart notes, and ask for a side of sticky rice to temper the burn.

Later this year, we'll pen our Best of New York issue, our annual love letter to what's great in this town. When that paper hits the streets, you'll find our picks for the very best this city has to offer when it comes to dozens of cuisines, restaurants, dishes, and drinks. Until then, you can get a taste of our contenders as we count down, in no particular order, our 100 favorite dishes from around the boroughs, a list of laudable eats worth tracking down right now.

No. 100: Taqueria Lower East Side's carnitas
No. 99: Tartine's steamed mussels
No. 98: Malu's Cookie Monster ice cream
No. 97: Coppelia's Havana salad
No. 96: Falansai's clay pot catfish
No. 95: Uncle Boons' Khao Soi Kaa Kai
No. 94: ABC Cocina's salted caramel "impossible" flan
No. 93: Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine's peanut noodles
No. 92: Distilled's country-fried duck and waffles
No. 91: Calliope's octopus salad
No. 90: Charlie Bird's diver scallop crudo
No. 89: Silver Moon Bakery's fig and pepper bread
No. 88: Stage Restaurant's egg, cheese, and sausage on a roll
No. 87: Manzanilla's Marbella's Full Moon
No. 86: Bia's Cary Ga
No. 85: La Newyorkina's pineapple jalapeño paleta
No. 84: Empellón Taqueria's skirt steak tacos
No. 83: Sugar Sweet Sunshine's pistachio cupcake
No. 82: El Chivito d'Oro's skirt steak
No. 81: Saro Bistro's satarash
No. 80: Oda House's adjaruli khatchapuri
No. 79: Hill Country Chicken's pie milkshake
No. 78: Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue's chili mac
No. 77: The Musket Room's steak and cheese pie
No. 76: Battery Harris' Baked Patties
No. 75: Legend's Dan Dan Noodles
No. 74: Pure Thai's Nakorn-Patom duck noodles soup
No. 73: Melt Bakery's Morticia
No. 72: Calexico's Baja Fish Taco
No. 71: Sushi Dojo's Omakase
No. 70: Bear's smoked whitefish
No. 69: Locanda Verde's corn ravioli
No. 68: Ghenet's Ghenet Combination
No. 67: Ample Hills Creamery's ice cream
No. 66: Burger & Barrel's Burger
No. 65: Radegast's Munich pretzel
No. 64: Mighty Quinn's Burnt End Baked Beans
No. 63: Cho Dang Gol's spicy galbi jjim
No. 62: Tacos Mexico's chorizo taco
No. 61: Pork Slope's loaded nachos
No. 60: Pine Box Rock Shop's bloody mary
No. 59: Franny's antipasto plate
No. 58: Num Pang's curry red lentil soup
No. 57: Khe-Yo's Jurgielewicz duck salad
No. 56: Dough's doughnut (any doughnut)
No. 55: King Noodle's ma po tofu fries
No. 54: Terri's green power smoothie
No. 53: Estela's beef tartare
No. 52: Pho Grand's pork chop pho
No. 51: Stella 34 Trattoria's chocolate gelato
No. 50: RedFarm's spicy crispy beef
No. 49: Bhojan's daal tadka
No. 48: Pig and Khao's khao soi
No. 47: The Grand's handmade pierogies
No. 46: Dominick's Deli's Dante's Inferno
No. 45: The Queens Kickshaw's deep-fried squash blossoms
No. 44: Black Tree's squash blossom sandwich
No. 43: Nan Xiang's xiao long bao
No. 42: Jones Wood Foundry's bangers and mash
No. 41: White Bear's wontons
No. 40: The Harrison's toasted couscous and farro salad
No. 39: Katja's sausage sampler
No. 38: Magpies' strawberry-balsamic magpie
No. 37: Bunker's pho ga
No. 36: Fritzl's Lunch Box's burger
No. 35: Biang's lotus root salad
No. 34: BrisketTown's brisket
No. 33: Bronx Ale House's alehouse nachos
No. 32: Shinobi Ramen's mabo ramen
No. 31: Pok Pok NY's papaya pok pok
No. 30: Land of Plenty's Szechuan Pork Dumplings
No. 29: Financier's pistachio macaron
No. 28: Arancini Bros' Nutella arancini
No. 27: Di Fara's calzone
No. 26: Atera's bone marrow
No. 25: The Mermaid Inn's brunch bread basket
No. 24: Hospoda's fried cherries
No. 23: Xe May's Lam'bretta
No. 22: Meatballs Alsatian from Café Cluny
No. 21: Café Ghia's biscuits and gravy
No. 20: Espardeñas from Toro
No. 19: Beef noodle soup from Lan Zhou
No. 18: Soup and half roll combo from Luke's Lobster
No. 17: Spicy pork quesadilla from La Pasadita
No. 16: Pastrami sandwich from Loeser's Deli
No. 15: wd~50's chilled egg drop soup
No. 14: Taqueria Rancho Escondido's barbacoa tacos
No. 13: Montmartre's pot-au-pho
No. 12: Nom Wah Tea Parlor's dim sum samplers

Know a dish we shouldn't miss? E-mail us.




Location Info

Somtum Der

85 Avenue A, New York, NY

Category: Restaurant


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Hazel354
Hazel354

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