Zabb Elee Review: Fried pork makes me happy

Zabb Elee Review: Fried pork makes me happy

The night was fairly uneventful. I think it was Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Someone let Pat into the building. In addition to letting him in, the man followed up with the question, “Where are you delivering from?” The appropriate response should have been, “Chinatown, motherfucker!.” But I guess he did open the door for Pat. Also, talking in your head sometimes works as well as talking aloud. Then I had an education on pronouncing Thai words. This might sound really racist in two minutes, but too bad. I don’t give a fuck on this blog any more. I picked up some pork belly larb at Zabb Elee (in the East Village) for take-out, and had this conversation with Ming.

Me: Oh I got some larb [i pronounced it like lard, but with a ‘b’ at the end]. Ming: What’s that? Me: It’s from this new Thai place on 5th (st). Ming: Oh it’s not pronounced ‘larb’, it’s pronounced like ‘laaaaah-b’, because everything in Thai sounds sexual.

Me: Yea you’re right. ‘laaaaaah-b’ it is. I love Thai.

Thais have all the fun. Chinese doesn’t sound that fun. Sometimes Chinatown sounds like a chicken coop. At Zabb Elee, larb is $9 and there are eight incarnations of this dish, and only one has the adjective ‘crispy’ attached to it. Moo korb is fried pork belly. Wikipedia says that larb is usually minced protein with chili, mint, and assorted vegetables. Fish sauce and lime coat this meat salad and help to heighten the effect of the chili’s. When I ordered, the hostess asked if I would like it spicy, I said yes and this dish had me pausing to take breaks for my tongue. You’d be smart to order some rice too, since the dish comes without it.

Wikipedia also said Isan Thai food is very Laotian in influence, since it’s located in Northeast Thailand. This might be one of the few places in New York City where one has a chance to have Laotian style food. Are there even any Laotian restaurants in NY? The menu at Zabb Elee reads like a whole list of things I don’t know. This goes to show that my Thai experience has only been littered with boring pad thais most of my life. This place saves me a trip to Queens.

Did anyone else catch this whole business between David Chang and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt? See Grub St for details. A few notes… the first thing is that when you order a mass produced drink like coke/beer/wine at a restaurant, you’re simply paying for the opportunity to experience the drink in that setting. That’s all you’re doing. Regular corn-sweetened Coke is like a fucking quarter when you buy it on sale in 12 packs. Whether or not the resulting experience is positive or negative is a completely different matter. Whether it’s ‘worth it’ to an individual really doesn’t matter either because if it’s not worth it to you, don’t buy it. As for charging a particular price, the fair prices is almost always set by demand at a popular place like Momofuku. David Chang could probably shit into a jar, put it up for sale for $1, and say, “If my coke is too damn pricey, for just $1, you can eat shit.” Someone would probably buy it and it’d be kinda funny. So yea, consumers don’t need to complain about $5 coke after buying it. It’s not like you were in a club or on a boat or at Yankee Stadium and had no options.

Conversely, restaurant owners should stop complaining about Groupon. Obviously if you work as a salesperson for groupon, you’re going to hustle. You’re going to call every business 10 times just to make sure they don’t want a deal. You can’t really be hating on a sales person who calls constantly to make a living. Restaurant owners by now should know it’s a shitty deal. If it’s a $100 worth of food for $50 to the consumer, and the restaurant takes in $25, that’s a crappy deal for the restaurant. It’s easy. It’s called, ‘divide by 4’. Is it profitable for you after you divide by 4? No? OK don’t do it. This message has been brought to you by 3rd grade math (or in Asia, 1st grade math). Fuck, if uncle Dave sees this there will be a round of, ‘bloggers are hacks!’ Yes I am. But he wouldn’t validate my existence like that.

Zabb Elee75 2nd Ave.New York, NY 10003212-505-9533

Posted by Danny on May 31, 2011 at 6:30 pm

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