A Night in Isan: Somtum Der

Somtum Der extends an authentic culinary experience to a vibrant and diverse community. Combining rich textures and bold flavors, this quaint locale on Avenue A provides an intimate atmosphere in a city all too familiar with crowds and the space works particularly well for small groups looking to explore a distinct cultural palette.

Their signature dish, somtum, a papaya salad prepared with chilies tomatoes lime peanuts a light dressing and crusted with dried shrimp was the centerpiece for a communal basket, is an intriguing balance of sweet, spicy, and savory. The style imitates the heritage of Isan, where farmers from the rice fields would end the work day by gathering all that they could and dining together. Co-owner Supanee Kitmahawong saw a unique opportunity when visiting their mainland counterpart: “I loved the experience so much that I thought it would be great to introduce New Yorkers to authentic Thai cuisine. Within a month, we were able to draw up plans for this location in the East Village.”

The expansion has been successful and diners rave about the eccentric selections. “It was really important to me that we translate the atmosphere of Isan stateside. I want to encourage the deeply personal connection that gathering around the table creates. It’s the tradition we adhere to and love to share.”

And with beautiful reminders that adorn the counters and tapestries that line the walls, you get a sense of the comforts of home east of the Andaman Sea. If you’re looking to try something different, #GetSpicy with Somtum Der.

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