Here the name doesn’t lie: It’s owned by a chef named Pam and what’s on offer is real Thai food (a rarity in New York, where sugar too often substitutes for spice). Be careful with your reply when they ask if you want your dinner spicy, because they mean business: The fiery fare will drain your sinuses (in fact, there’s a constant symphony of patrons blowing their noses and clearing their throats). But even the most combustible dishes are tremendously flavorful, loaded with fresh vegetables, sweet coconut milk, and complex spices. While this isn’t a place for a special-occasion dinner—the decor’s too plain for that—the service is speedy enough for you to eat here before the theater, and get to your seats in time.
- Pauline Frommer