Location: 77-08 Woodside Ave, Elmhurst, NY, 11373 Phone: 718-424-0844
Overall Dining Experience: 8/10
Cost: Around $20USD per person in July 2011
Worth Returning? Yes
New York has tons of Thai restaurants, but really only two special ones in my mind. Room Service(will review separately) and Ayada. What makes Ayada Thai special is that it does not cater to American tastes. Perhaps it is the location. It is located in Woodside about a 10 min walk from the closest subway station on a street that is not very commercialized at all. The food at Ayada is definitely authentic especially the Tom Yum Soup which so many Thai restaurants fail at. It is a must order at Ayada even if you previously do not like the soup. The three of the four dishes I had on my first visit are pictured below:
The drunken noodles with beef was pretty good. The beef is tender and not chewy. The noodles were well cooked and not stuck together. Cost: $8USD Taste: 7/10.
The crispy pork was fried to perfection and the chinese broccoli was mostly good with the exception of some stems which were uncooked. Flavoring was spot on though. Cost: $12USD Taste: 7/10.
The whole red snapper in basil sauce was delicious as well. Although it is presented as a whole fish, in actuality it is de-boned fish fillets that they arranged in whole fish form. Cost: $25USD Taste: 8/10
What is not shown is the shrimp Pad Thai($10USD) and Tom Yum Soup($5USD) which were the stars of the night. I apologize as I was supremely hungry and gobbled down those as they were the first to arrive. The Thai iced tea here is also not quite as sweet as most Thai restaurants. It is more reminiscent of the Thai iced tea in Bangkok.
Other points of note: (1) The restaurant is small and busy with thirty seats maximum. However they do take reservations. (2) They have one large restroom which was extremely clean. (3) I like Ayada better than SriPraPhai simply because the Pad Thai at SriPraPhai is below par.