Jaiya has become a mainstay in Hicksville. But the Thai restaurant, once a star in Elmhurst and still running in Manhattan, has slipped a bit.
The service is amiable and accommodating. But when the Windex comes out to clean the glass table top that's arm's length from your red snapper in chile sauce ... well, you know what scent wins. Very efficient, very functional -- and enough to make you stop eating.
Once the harsh aroma fades, you could get back in action with tasty noodle dishes: fried, soy-sauce noodles, Thai vegetarian noodles, drunken noodles, pad Thai. That red snapper also is worth sampling. But chicken satay and pork with curry arrive overcooked; the Saigon egg roll, bland; and papaya salad, curiously dull.
Instead, consider eggplant with chile sauce, shrimp in mild curry, maybe lab gai, or ground chicken with mint, scallions and dried chilies. For a shot of heat, the spicy prawn soup will do. No need to stick around for dessert.
Jaiya is at 46 W. Old Country Rd., Hicksville; 516-681-3400.
Plump noodles at Jaiya. Newsday / Peter Gianotti