Q: What college prerequisite was Stony Brook University lacking until just last week?
A: Its very own Thai restaurant.
Now, at long last, the area is starting to look like a respectable college town. That's because Centara Thai Cuisine is serving up tom kha gai and massamun curry in the former digs of Cosmos.
You'd never know the space was once a dowdy gyro and pizza joint. Now, the floors are a beautiful polished wood; chairs have raffia backs; spring green walls are hung with rich art work.
As for the food, I can vouch for a green curry with chicken, its flowery notes balanced by an undercurrent of chili. Spicy noodles with shrimp presents another study in contrasts, the mellow noodles stir fried with egg, vegetables and shellfish in a chili-fired sauce.
The place is under the aegis of Arty Pattapong, who also owns Sarin Thai in Miller Place and Thai Gourmet in Port Jefferson. Now, it seems, he may have a trifecta.
Centara Thai Cuisine is at 1015 Rte. 25A, Stony Brook, 631-689-2135.