Zaab Zaab in the News
"The steady, thrilling rise of Isan cuisine has been the major story arc in New York City’s Thai restaurant scene over the past decade or so. That trajectory reached a new high point with the arrival in April of Zaab Zaab in Elmhurst, Queens."
“Foremost is larb ped udon ($19), a deliriously good take on the Isaan salads, often focusing on ground meat, we’ve come to love. This one boasts not only minced duck but also tidbits of skin and liver, making the dish multi-textured and hopelessly rich. The recipe, which comes from the chef’s hometown, features a strong note of the gingery galangal root that’s charred for extra flavor. The dish is spiked with a healthy dose of chiles and accompanied by lettuce leaves for wrapping and dipping in the dark juices that pool on the plate.”
“For a real Isaan showstopper, order the Mieng Pla Pow, a spectacular, salt-crusted whole tilapia marinated in cumin and garlic, stuffed with pandan leaves and lemongrass, and roasted over charcoal. This dish comes with two sauces — one sweet (tamarind peanut), one spicy (Nam Jim) — a tangle of slippery rice noodles, and a mountain of greens, which star a couple of rarities in their own right: Sadao and phe kaa. Both are wonderfully bitter and nicely complement just about everything on the table.”