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Ligaya Mishan Finds Fierce, Fiery Thai Food at Elmhurst Newcomer Paet Rio

The neighborhood has become a haven for authentic Thai food in New York.


For several years, Phimploy Likitsansook served a secret and fiery menu to those in the know at her Hell's Kitchen restaurant, Wondee Siam. Now, she is serving the best of those dishes and several others not often found in American Thai restaurants at Paet Rio in Queens. Ligaya Mishan reviews the new restaurant for the Times this week:

[Likitsasook] has brought a few of her Wondee secrets, but the execution is more focused, the contours of flavor more distinct...Best is miang kha-na...It arrives with fanned-out Chinese broccoli leaves, vessels for a pileup of jerky-like pork strands, split peanuts, bird's-eye chiles with timed triggers, shallots, garlic, ginger and - most vividly - tiny corners of lime...

Come prepared for intense heat. As Mishan notes, Likitsansook kept her menu at Wondee mostly secret "not to deprive non-Thai speakers so much as to protect them from the cuisine's often scorching splendor." Nearby, Mishan also recommends Ayada. Paet Rio, 81-10 Broadway, Elmhurst