Lately I've been craving both dumplings and papaya salad with alarming regularity. So when choosing a place to meet up with SB for dinner, I was in search of a new Thai restaurant to satisfy my cravings. We ended up at Q2 Thai in Hell's Kitchen.
I got there first and was the first person in the restaurant. Well, the first person aside from the three people working there. By the time we were finished with dinner, the place had filled up, but it was eerily empty at the beginning. Everything about Q2 is relatively utilitarian: the prompt, snappy service that borders on curt; the semi-stylish but nothing special dining room; the standard Thai menu. We placed our order and our food appeared within a couple minutes.
SB had ordered chicken pad thai. A self-professed pad thai enthusiast, SB likes most renditions of the dish. When pressed, she put this dish in the middle of the pad thai spectrum. From my angle, it looked piping hot, at the very least.
My choice was the papaya salad. It was a reasonable portion of shredded papaya with string beans, a few cherry tomatoes, and crushed peanuts. This version of the classic was also pretty average-- it was tasty, and the sauce especially was savory and quite delicious, but I've had better and wouldn't go out of my way to get this one.
We paid the very reasonable check promptly and took off. As Thai restaurants go, Q2 is okay-- not spectacular, not bad. But in a town with so many Thai places (and especially a part of town so packed with Thai joints), average isn't good enough to bring me back. As a result, I give Q2 two Offset Spatulas; there are better options in the area.
788 Ninth Avenue, between 52nd and 53rd Streets