, 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 Mexican
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,