As its name implies, Pam Real Thai Food is in the business of authenticity. So be forewarned that entrees marked with the restaurant's four pepper rating are seriously spicy, and even two-pepper dishes like Pla Lui Suan—a whole deep fried red snapper colorfully adorned with mango, cilantro, and lime—prove that chef and co-owner Pam Panyasiri isn’t playing when it comes to spice.
The reasonably-priced menu offers extensive options for combining sweet, salty, and spicy, so sharing multiple dishes is your best bet. The Yum Crispy Duck salad is exactly what its name describes: a heavy “salad” that’s nearly all meat with a hint of scallion and cilantro. Veggie-lovers should instead steer towards refreshing shredded green papaya salad, Som Tum.
Curries are legion and the Massamun—available with a choice of meat or seafood—comes saturated with whole roasted peanuts and welcome hints of cinnamon and cumin. Accompanying rice was on the dry side, but easily doused by sauces.
While the space is lacking in decor, it's only because Pam Real Thai Food has a no-nonsense attitude about it. Service is quick and attentive, food arrives promptly, and soon enough you're authentically full and on your way.
Pam Real Thai Food is located at 404 W. 49th Street (at 9th Avenue). Open daily, 11:30 a.m. - 11 p.m. 212-333-7500.