There’s little signage, but once you locate Thai Curry Simple you’ll never forget where it is, because it’s hard to find a good lunch for just $5 in this town. But here you can choose between tasty, slightly pan-fried pad thai (with tofu or chicken) and green curry, zippy with lemongrass, each for $5. Or try a fiery special of pad kee mao, featuring wide noodles that dance quickly on a hot griddle until their edges are browned in places, with fried tofu and a fried egg ($6). Hot (and I mean hot) sauce is on the tables—there’s no star rating system for spiciness here—and the dishes lack the usual profusion of carrots, peppers and other veggies you get at more expensive Thai places. But owner Picha Pinkaow, who has the curry pastes made in Thailand to his specifications, might tell you this isn’t brain surgery, it’s just good, tasty Thai food. Bonus: Packets of Pinkaow’s red, massaman, panang and green curry pastes are only $2; add coconut milk and fixings, use as a marinade for shrimp or what have you, and you’ve got Thai curry at home.
Breakfast and lunch Mon.–Sat. International District, 406 Fifth Ave. S; 206.327.4838; thaicurrysimple.com. ¢