Look by Plant Love House

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I need to get a fix of Thai food every once in a while, with the addictive flavor that I came to love since I first had Thai cuisine in college. Usually my fix consists of a Seamless order but I do occasionally eat out as promising Thai restaurants. Queens is the area known for having a cluster of excellent Thai restaurants, but I haven’t had the occasion to make the trip all the way east. One of the restaurants that I really wanted to try was Plant Love House in Elmhurst, which received critical acclaim for authentic Thai cuisine emphasizing the beauty of spice. Later, the team behind this restaurant opened a second location in Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, and closed the original one thereafter. I was meeting a friend for a quick early dinner in Brooklyn, and figured this would be an excellent opportunity to visit. The Sunday dinner turned into a very satisfying affairs.

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Pad Kee Mao (Sautéed Flat Noodle with Spicy Basil Sauce, Chinese Broccoli, Onion, Tomato and Chicken)
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Yum Pak Boong Grob (Crispy Watercress Salad with Chili Lime Sauce, Shrimps, Minced Pork, Crispy Shallot, Cilantro and Peanut)

Look doesn’t play safe when it comes to using the spice. In the course of the meal, I was sweating like I had just completed a high interval intensity training session even though we ordered “medium” spicy for all of the dishes. That didn’t stop me, however, from enjoying the crispy watercress salad that came with chili lime sauce, shrimps, minced pork and crispy shallot (the fried watercress didn’t look too pleasing at first, but it was quite delicious to my surprise), or the sautéed flat noodle with spicy basil sauce, Chinese broccoli, onion, tomato and chicken (the noodle had nice texture and the overall combination of vegetables and chicken was on point too). My favorite dish was the rice noodle in Thai chili paste soup with jumbo shrimp, homemade pork patty, bacon and soft boiled egg inside. The soup was absolutely aromatic (and would be a perfect cure to hangover if you had a wild night before), and the noodle worked quite harmoniously with the other ingredients inside.

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Nuk Prik Phow Tom Yum Goong Yai (Rice Noodle in Thai Chili Paste Soup with Jumbo Shrimp, Homemade Pork Patty, Bacon and Soft Boiled Egg)
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Khao Pad Nam Prik Pla Too (Spicy Shrimp Paste Rice Platter with Fried Whole Mackerel, Eggplant, Cha-om Omelet, Steamed Seasonal Vegetable and Boiled Egg)

The portion of each dish was quite generous (we immediately regretted ordering four dishes after they started coming out), and really displayed the spicy kick that makes for a satisfying Thai meal. In that respect, the only downer of the dishes was this shrimp paste rice platter with fried whole mackerel, eggplant, seasonal vegetable and boiled egg. Even though the server highly recommended it, it didn’t display enough versatility compared to the other dishes because it lacked fiery sensation others displayed to the full potential. For dessert, the classic sweet coconut sticky rice and mango was delightful, while coconut ice cream with red bean, sweet plam seeds, corn, jack fruit and peanuts was somewhat forgettable, perhaps because it had too much coconut in it.

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I-Tim Bolan (Old School Coconut Ice Cream with Red Bean, Sweet Plam Seeds, Corn, Jack Fruit and Peanuts)
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Khao Niew Ma-maung (Sweet Coconut Sticky Rice and Mango)

The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, but we had no problem getting seated for early dinner. There is a concise offering of drinks (a bottle of Thai beer seems to work best with the food, and my friend was raving about the sweet Thai iced tea). I really liked the cozy vibe of the space that makes you feel like you’re eating at someone’s home in Thailand. The restaurant doesn’t accept credit card, so make sure to bring in some cash. For ethnic eateries, the virtue usually lies in simplicity and faithful attention to authenticity in flavor. Look certainly achieves that mission beautifully with soulful Thai dishes.

KenScale: 8.0/10

  • Creativity: 7.5/10
  • Execution: 8.0/10
  • Ingredients: 8.0/10
  • Flavor: 8.5/10
  • Texture: 7.5/10

Address: 622 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Telephone: (718) 622-0026

Website: http://plantlovehouse.wix.com/thai#!menu/ysx42

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