With summer being my least favorite season of the year, at least I can look forward to one thing:
Pretty places to eat and drink.
You can go ahead and file Wayla under that category. Tucked away on the LES (quite literally, as it’s in the basement of 111 Forsyth), Wayla is a new Thai restaurant in the old Birds & Bubbles space. I had to call that out because I was really proud of myself for remembering it in the first place.
The space is very deceptive, but in a good way. Walking downstairs and inside, you’re presented with a small (ish) bar on the right side, a long hallway in front of you, and some booths on the left, behind a wall so you can’t totally see them. As you walk back down the hallway (also lined with tables), you come to the garden in the back and step into nirvana. Perfectly appointed with string lights, plants, and the sweet smell of burning incense. Now it’s time to have a cocktail.
I’ll be honest in that I didn’t get to try the cocktails on this visit, as I was going out after and I’m a lightweight, but they looked gorgeous and sounded delicious. The Golden Cassia with Bulleit Rye, chrysanthemum, demerera, ginger, and Fever Tree club soda was calling out to me. Next time…
The food won me over though. Such interesting bites – Moo Sarong are deep fried, noodle wrapped pork meatballs, served with a sambal chili sauce for dipping. They’re a delicacy in Thailand that are very hard to find here, according to the restaurant, and they were small with a big flavor punch. At first I thought they were too small, but then I realized they were just the right size to eat 3 or 4 and not feel bad about yourself.
The chicken wings (Peek Gai Tod) were easily one of my favorites too – also small, but super crispy. I actually hate when wings are too big and end up being mostly fat; these came right off the bone, all meat, and coated in toasted rice and plum sauce. Sweet, spicy, and perfect.
If you’re a lobster fan, you probably want to get the Sen Chan Pad Lobster. Imagine lobster pad thai, but with a whole lobster in it. Literally. Below for visuals. The noodles were perfect, but I’m freaked out by things that are still in it’s original vehicle (aka the shell), so I had some trouble eating the lobster meat that wasn’t already out of it’s carcass. I know I’m a food blogger I should be used to this but it’s just a thing. We don’t have to talk about it.
Lastly, the Nua Yang, the dry-aged NY bone-in strip steak came to the table on a cast iron skillet SIZZLING hot, like fajitas. I think we let it sit on there too long, because it arrived to the table perfectly medium rare, but by the time we were done with photos it was a bit closer to medium. Oh well. Food blogger problems. It was still delicious – don’t forget to add the sauce they give you on the side! It’s spicy but it’s like a Southeast Asian A1 sauce.
If you’re in the area and can get a res (or don’t mind having a cocktail while you wait), definitely recommend this spot for an outdoor dinner date or a small party with friends. Perfect spot for that!
100 Forsyth Street