I’m far from courageous when it comes to my food.
Sure, I might pepper up a monotone soup or plunk a drop of hot sauce into my guacamole, but having grown up in the thick of the “meat and potatoes” culture, giving in to the popularity of the Thai food craze was truly done by proxy for me.
So if Thai fare has evolved from a rare food adventure to a popular restaurant staple, what then makes Sripraphai Thai weigh in far above the rest?
Three things as far as I can tell:
Its charming authenticity, the family story behind it, and most of all, their Fried Soft Shell Crab with shredded Green mango sauce dish, which in fact represents without trying, the wonder and glory of all of their dishes.
In advance notice of my visit, I request that the owners Lersha Tipmanee (or Larry as he prefers) and his mother Sripraphai (for whom the restaurant was named) prepare one of their favorite signature dishes for sampling.
I soon learn that singling out a choice within a vast roster of formidable contenders, is a daunting chore at best, for every aroma inhaled, and every aesthetic dish presented, campaigns proudly for the honor unto itself.