February 5, 2007 | Insatiable Critic

Hurapan Kitchen

        Not even a week’s gone by and we’re back a second time to taste more spicy designer riffs on Thai staples at Hurapan Kitchen. That’s how much I love this beautifully presented Thai food by father-and-son team Taweewat and Dejthana Hurapan. Go elsewhere for authentic Thai vittles. This whimsical Village space, where the best tables are wrapped in slinky red fringe (“Are you taking a shower?” my tardy gal pal asks as she peeks through), sits waiting to be discovered by fans of this duo, veterans of Rain on the Upper West Side in its early days. Juicy tamarind-sticky ribs are piled high on a puddle of wild-mushroom-and-Sichuan-pepper sauce with a scattered frizzle of fried leeks. Rare beef tastes charred to order in a spicy salad with lemongrass and Fuji apple. Thin pounded scallop slices wade in a sophisticated saffron-tapioca bath with chopped grape tomatoes. Fingers of crisp duck are just as pleasing alongside spicy green-papaya salad with pomelo as in the Peking-duck entrée, where they are tucked into soft bread pockets and dipped into Cabernet-hoisin sauce. When the crisp fish arrives swirled high, it’s a giggle, but delicious too. Marinated skirt steak and lobster curry are full of flavor, more satisfying than overcooked chicken in a green curry with eggplant and salmon under a soggy crabmeat swamp. Sorbet comes as a slightly too sweet snowball in a dish set on shaved ice, cleverly illuminated from within.

29 Seventh Ave. S. nr. Bedford St. 212 727 2678