The pla song kruang at Basil Spice Thai Cuisine
One of the challenges of reviewing a restaurant with a lengthy menu, as often happens at Thai, Vietnamese and Indian restaurants, is balancing the reader's curiosity about old favorites (curry, pho
, etc.) with my desire to try dishes I've never eaten before.
Sometimes, to achieve this balance, I plan out in advance what I will order over multiple visits. Sometimes, I throw that plan out entirely -- I really don't want to have pad thai today -- and order with barely more consideration than if I'd shut my eyes and pointed at the menu. That was how I ended up trying pla song kruang
at Basil Spice Thai Cuisine.
When I reviewed Basil Spice in 2008
, a fried trout fillet was the base of this dish. It's now listed on the menu as basa, a type of catfish. This isn't an improvement -- the basa barely registers a flavor -- but the trout isn't what made me fall in love with this dish.
Indeed, pla song kruang
might be best described as a salad that just happens to be served atop fried fish. The colorful jumble includes slivers of green apple, red onion and carrot as well as cilantro and whole cashews in a dressing of fresh lime juice spiked with a mild chile heat. (You can crank up that heat, if you like, though I don't think this dish needs it.)
The dressing is exceptionally tart, a smack to the palate, yet the dish as a whole maintains a lovely balance of sweet and sour, sharpness and savor.Basil Spice Thai Cuisine
3183 South Grand Boulevard
$12.95I'm counting down -- in no particular order -- 100 of my favorite dishes in St. Louis. Some are well-known, others obscure. Some are expensive, others dirt cheap. All of them, I guarantee, are delicious. Please do not hesitate to share your own favorites via the comments thread.
Previously:#43: Chori pollo at Mi Ranchito#44: Pizza at La Pizza#45: Fried chicken at Young's Restaurant & Ice Creamery#46: The Philly Cheesesteak at 9th Street Deli#47: Smoked chicken wings at Flavors BBQ Sports Bar & Grill#48: Coffee and a pastry at 222 Artisan Bakery#49: The torta ahogada at Taqueria Durango#50: The "Morganford Mediterranean" Sandwich at Local Harvest Café & Catering#51: Vegetable korma at Gokul Snacks & Sweets#52: Schnitzel & spaetzle at Iron Barley#53: Oxtail stew at De Palm Tree#54: Pho at Pho Long#55: Gyro at Anthonino's Taverna#56: The Lemon Drop Cupcake at the Cup#57: Pupusas at Tres Banderas#58: Gumbo at the Gumbo Shop#59: The burger at Newstead Tower Public House#60: Quesadillas tradicionales at Milagro Modern MexicanPreviously (Continued):#61: "7th Street Sicilian" Po' Boy at Blues City Deli#62: Tamales at Taqueria la Pasadita#63: Ćevapi at Bosna Gold#64: Lemon meringue and pine nut torte at BitterSweet Bakery#65: Chile Morita con Puerco at Señor Pique#66: Soda chanh duong (sparkling lemonade) at Lemon Grass#67: Nachos grande at Nachomama's#68: Pizza with pepperoni, sausage and mushroom at Pizza-a-Go-Go#69: Bill's "Burger Meister Burger" at Cardwell's at the Plaza#70: Sake (salmon) nigiri sushi at Nobu's Japanese Restaurant#71: Massaman curry at Simply Thai#72: The lunch buffet at Mayuri#73: Fried chicken (spicy) at Porter's Fried Chicken#74: Arancini at Lorenzo's Trattoria#75: Meat shawarma at The Vine Mediterranean Café & Market#76: The South Side Smoke at sandwich at Stellina Pasta Café#77: Falafel at Kabob House#78: A slice with pepperoni at Feraro's Jersey-Style Pizza#79: Birria at Pueblo Nuevo#80: Banh mi dac biet at Phuc Loi#81: Prosciutto bianca pizza at the Good Pie#82: Gold Coast Chocolate ice cream at Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream#83: Hot salami (salam de testa) at Gioia's Deli#84: Veal parmesan sandwich at Biggie's#85: Nachos (with jalapeños and extra cheese cup) at Busch Stadium#86: Lobster bisque at Café Ventana#87: Calamari fritti at Mangia Italiano#88: Brisket sandwich at Winslow's Home#89: Paletas at La Vallesana 2#90: Spaghetti and meatballs at Sugo's Spaghetteria#91: The Michael burger at Michael's Bar & Grill#92: Fried egg and ham toastie at the Schlafly Tap Room#93: Bavarian chips with Welsh rarebit at Dressel's#94: Onion soup at Brasserie by Niche#95: Baby-back ribs at 17th Street Bar & Grill#96: Kingshighway burger at the Royale#97: Gyro sandwich at South Grand Gyro Express#98: Carne asada tacos at El Paisano (Watson Road)#99: Pretzel bites at Joey B's on the Hill#100: Hot and sour soup at Shu Feng Restaurant