Thai restaurants, once exotic, have become a basic part of the repertoire on Long Island. The cuisine genuinely refreshes your appetite. And on the cusp of the holiday season, it's a lively way to get ready for the rush ahead. Consider:
Sarin Thai in Kings Park and Greenvale is consistently good for dishes such as crisp whole fish with spicy sauce; steamed whole fish with ginger, scallions and black bean sauce; beef, duck and papaya salads; pad Thai noodles; mee krob, or crisp noodles, with tamarind sauce and shrimp; and sea scallops in red curry. Sarin Thai, 25 Main St., Kings Park, 631-269-4130; and 43 Glen Cove Rd., Greenvale, 516-484-5573. sarinthaicuisine.com
Sri Thai in Huntington fills a flavorful niche in the downtown restaurant hub. It's small in size but big in popularity. You'll enjoy the drunken noodles and the pad Thai; Penang curry with either chicken, beef, shrimp or pork, finished with coconut milk and kaffir lime; steamed pork-and-shrimp dumplings; and the invigorating salads and soups. Sri Thai, 14 New St., Huntington; 631-424-3422.
Galangal in Syosset is primarily Thai, but there are plenty of Japanese dishes, raw and cooked, for the dissenters. The glittery decor provides a sideshow. On the plate, you'll like the crisp, whole fish in chili sauce; either green or red curry starring chicken or beef; spicy-basil eggplant; duck salad with apple, cashews and chilies; pineapple fried rice; and bracing soups. Galangal, 140 Jericho Tpke., Syosset; 516-682-0688. galangal2.com