Awhile back I’d impulsively deleted 2700 posts from MadeMark, wanting to change the tone of this blog. Had I thought it through I would have been more selective and kept the many (many) items I liked, especially the travel posts and reviews. On the other hand, there are those Buddhist monks who spend endless hours making sand paintings they then simply wipe away. There’s something in that.

We headed two blocks over from home last night to try out a Thai restaurant called little basil (lower case), located at 153 E. 26th Street. Frank had a 15-percent off coupon, and we both thought it was a new place. Turns out it’s been there for three years and I’m surprised we’d never eaten there before. It was amazing.

Oddly for a Friday night (and an establishment that’s been there three years!) we were the only people eating in the restaurant. Quite a few were stopping in to pick up orders to take home, and we’ll be one of them soon.

The decor is nice enough, a lot of dark wood with distressed tables, the kind that look like they were bought in a lot from a restaurant that didn’t make it. The staff was minimal but very nice, and once the food started arriving . . . mmmm. We started with the Tom Kha soup (coconut milk soup with chicken, kaffir lime leaf and galangal). I was surprised Frank was unfamiliar with it. It was delicious and plentiful, in a large bowl we shared. Then came the chicken satay and steamed vegetable rolls. Common, you say? Sure, but uncommonly good, delicate, perfectly prepared and beautifully presented. Entrees were Pad Thai and Pad Med Mamong (vegetables sauteed with cashew nuts, bamboo shoots and mushrooms in brown sauce). Dessert was a tasting of ice creams: green tea, red bean, and coconut.

What makes the difference here is the sheer perfection of the food. I can see why so many locals were stopping to take it home. Who knows why there weren’t more people there, and who cares. If you like Thai food, little basil is a must, it’s simply among the best I’ve ever had, elevating to a four yum rating. Oh, and it was one of the more affordable restaurants we’ve eaten in: $67 for both of us. You can’t beat that.

Ratings are based on one-to-five yums, one being don’t waste your time or money, five being the best you’re likely to find.

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