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Fearless Critic restaurant review
New Haven
Casual restaurant

Daily 11:30am–9:30pm

Features Kid-friendly
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Accepted

63 Whitfield St.
Guilford, CT
(203) 458-0228
Som Siam
Reasonably priced, if fading, Thai in a setting that’s less than inspiring

Som Siam is held back a bit by its relatively remote location and uninspiring, fanciful décor. The low-ceilinged, vividly carpeted room is cramped and outdated—think fan-folded pink napkins on top of dinner plates. Lots of families eat here, and the place manages to stay pretty crowded. Back in the day, this was Thai Inter, on State Street in New Haven—that restaurant was bought by new management, and the real thing is now out in the ’burbs. It lies on the town green in quaint Guilford. The service is famously fantastic; the deferential and attentive waitstaff is nothing but genuinely friendly.

We always end up ordering the curry puffs, each time forgetting that the last time we thought they were too sweet. One appetizer we do like, however, is the gai ho bai toey—fried chicken wrapped in pandanus leaves. It comes out crispy and nicely seasoned with hints of kaffir lime leaf. Curries are fairly standard, but larb tends to be a hit.

Prices are very reasonable at any time, but for the fiscally responsible, lunch specials are the best deal. The lunch menu has a few interesting items which waddle dangerously into pan-Asian territory—ka nom jean, “Thai-style linguine with Linda’s homemade curry sauce” and “Toy’s Pho.” Is there a Vietnamese cook in the kitchen?

Some of our favorites, though, are som tam (a papaya salad with chili, crushed peanuts, and lime juice); spicy barbecued pork from the grill; and the choo chee fish, a deep-fried whole fish with coconut milk and curry sauce. Also excellent is the spicier, tangier pla rad prik, another deep-fried fish. Yum.

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