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East Northport: Bangkok it's not

Tom kha gai (chicken coconut milk soup) at

Tom kha gai (chicken coconut milk soup) at Thai Green Leaf, East Northport Photo Credit: Newsday, 2011 / Joan Reminick

A recent dinner at Thai Green Leaf in East Northport pointed out so much of what's right and wrong about mainstream suburban Thai fare.

Soups are often the forte at Thai restaurants where authenticity isn't paramount. And if my dinner were to have ended at soup, it would have been ideal. Tom kha gai (chicken coconut soup, $3.50) was nuanced and lively, with lots of tender boneless poultry that, clearly, had been “velveted” in a mix of egg whites and cornstarch. Tom yum goong (shrimp hot and sour soup, $3.95) resonated with flavor, the shrimp cooked to precise doneness.

With many entrees at Long Island Thai restaurants, the problem is often sauces that are syrupy, both in flavor and texture. Getting an item spiced fiery-hot (no matter how many chili peppers are next to its name) can be nearly impossible.

Here, a Penang chicken curry ($12.50), ordered extra-hot, was merely mild. So, too, was the chili-asterisked gung pla murk pat ($14.50), a stir-fry of calamari and shrimp with onions, chili and black beans, undone by its thick, sweet sauce. So much the pity, because the seafood was fresh and the dish had some nice flavors going on.

Thai Green Leaf is at 1969 Jericho Tpke., East Northport, 631-462-6666, thaigreenleaf.net.

Above: The very good tom kha gai at Thai Green Leaf in East Northport

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