Thai Food in Miami, Pot Luck in Aruba

BEST THAI RESTAURAT IN MIAMI. Friends recommended a Thai restaurant in Little Havana and we set out to find it. Calle 8 looks exactly like San Nicholas in the evening hours, so we felt at home and found Lung Yai Thai Tapas easily. We parked, crossed the street and scribbled our name on a sheet of paper, left outside the closed restaurant door on a bench, waiting for our turn to get in. The place is tiny, with just 17 seats at the bar. Two tables for two inside, a few tables for four outside, in what can be mistaken for a patio, overlooking rusty air-conditioners and electric wires. Ten minutes into the waiting in the street experience, the door opened and we were told to go to the al fresco area, to a rudimentary wooden table, flanked by two crooked benches. Then the menu arrived, green curry, red curry, rice, noodles, a mysterious culinary world with a strange alphabet and in several degrees of heat. We ordered. We each got a bowl of steaming hot broth with meats, vegetables, mushrooms, flavored with lemongrass, chillies, and coconut milk. It was most amazing. The most delicious food we’ve ever eaten. I visited Thailand before and I remember how fond I was of their cuisine but dinner at the little hole in the wall in Miami, no reservations, just walk in, brought it all back. Really worth the trip and the abuse of the waitress – what you want, 45 minutes if you want something else – really recommended.

IN FAVOR OF HOME COOKINGF. We had a pot luck gathering over the weekend. The host baked Salmon Vera Cruz, a Bobby Flay recipe, with green olives and capers. One of the guests delivered giant pasta shells with homemade pesto, a tray of Mediterranean-style roasted vegetables, greens salads, a make your own shoarma wrap station, with a fragrant garlic sauce, at least two chocolate decadence desserts, spicy guacamole, with crunchy tortilla triangles, a strange but yummy corn & rosemary cake with ginger frosting. I made Tahine, no big deal, but I got many compliments on the texture and flavor. My point? No restaurant could have possibly produced such a feast, as far as freshness and variety. The bottomless sagria pitcher was not too sweet, and went well with everything on the eclectic menu. It was a great afternoon. The music was Cuban, the hosts Canadians, the guests Aruban, American and Mexican. Does it get any better than that??