In Mexico, I have seen the word “Thai” bandied about as a euphemism for dishes vaguely Asian. A “Thai” style salad at one place had a yogurt dressing! (dairy products are almost non-existent in South east Asia). Another bogus Polanco joint offered Thai dishes featuring soy sauce – anybody who has been to Thailand knows that soy sauce is minimally used there, and only in dishes of Chinese origin.
So it is worth celebrating the fact that Galanga Thai Kitchen is with us. It is an extraordinary restaurant run by chef Somsri, who hails from Bangkok with her locally sourced husband Eleazar; they know what they are doing. Essential hard-to-get ingredients such as Thai basil, kaffir lime, lemongrass (common here but hardly ever available with its requisite white part) even the galangal itself – a root related to ginger – are grown by the couple on a small farm in Mexico State – so flavors are not compromised. The menu includes such iconic dishes as som tum (green papaya salad), pad thai, larb (chopped, condimented meat) and several Thai curries pounded by hand much like mole. All dishes are prepared with respect to tradition. The chef will adjust spice level according to taste but for those who are able it is recommended to ask for dishes to be done as Thai people would like them. Presentation is lovely and ambience relaxed. Prices are reasonable, averaging about $300 per person.
Food: (1-10): 8
Ambience: Simple, comfortable and friendly; music is minimal.
Galanga Thai Kitchen
Guanajuato 202, Roma
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 1-10 p.m., closed Monday