Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

KAO SOY, 283 Van Brunt Street (between Pioneer Street and Visitation Place), Red Hook, BrooklynAny notable (and lucky) restaurant will get their fair share of press in the New York food universe. It’s rare that I’m ahead of the game and visit a restaurant before the major food reviewers publish their take. So I was happy to get to Kao Soy before too much excitement had been built up.

This is a brand new Thai restaurant in the unlikely neighborhood of Red Hook. It’s further down Van Brunt Street, a few blocks away from all the trendy spots that have put this neighborhood somewhat on the map (it’s still very tough to get here without a car).

The ambiance isn’t much to get excited about, except for the fact that it emulates the barebones, but serious Thai contenders in neighborhoods of Queens. And that is an exciting prospect!

Kao Soy refers to their specialty dish (khao¬†soi) – one that I’ve tasted many times before. It’s a rich and creamy soup made with coconut milk, curry, chicken, and two kinds of noodles (fried and boiled). And the one here is absolutely delicious – spicy and rich with deep, complex flavors.

Yum Som-O at KAO SOY

A dish that I had never tried before was one of their salads. Thai salads are quite different from what Americans refer to as salads. Sure, there might be some green or health benefit, but generally they are heavy on the spice (and the flavor!) The Yum Som-O was no exception. The base here consists of bright sweet pomelo segments tossed with lime juice and chilies. For balance, there is also sweet baked coconut flakes, crunchy shallots, and salty peanuts. Not to mention two meaty curls of shrimp. The Thai know how to do salads.

Now, to be honest, Pete Wells did publish his Times review last week and there was a review on Grub Street. But the truth is, I ate here weeks before (I just now got around to posting about it). So criticize me if you will. But I guess I’m actually late to the game – once again!

KAO SOY
283 Van Brunt Street (between Pioneer Street and Visitation Place),
Red Hook, Brooklyn
(718) 875-1155
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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