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Psst! Here's an insider tip: If, on an ordinary weeknight, you sit at the right table at Sompong's, your culinary/cultural experience will be much enhanced. What is the right table, you ask? The one where the waitresses, when not otherwise occupied, are folding napkins. I'm not talking about picking up a little kitchen Thai on the sly - although the language does have a certain exotic appeal - rather, it's what they're snacking on while working that is interesting: Dried, almost caramelized-looking fish about the size of a quarter were one example; we didn't ask to taste them. But we did sample some pieces of crunchy green papaya dipped in a mixture of sugar, salt, and ground, dried chiles. Great stuff. And you'll never find it on a menu. - Ron Bechtol

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