Ever since our epic backpacking adventure to Thailand last year, Ariel and I are always on the look out for great Thai food. Shortly after moving to Brooklyn, we found a local spot which quickly became our go-to. However, this past weekend we decided to venture a little further and check out JOYA in Cobble Hill, and boy am I glad we did. Delicious, cheap, and full of veggie options, JOYA is definitely our new favorite Thai spot. We've already been back and I expect there will be many a takeout order in the near future.
To start, we've ordered the Papaya Salad and Summer Rolls (with tofu instead of shrimp). Both were good, but nothing too spectacular.
Mountain of papaya salad
For main dishes, our hands down favorite has been the Spicy Noodles (vegetarian version). Wide noodles loaded pan-fried with vegetables, this dish perfectly balances both spicy and sweet, something I personally love about good Thai food. Just thinking about it makes me hungry...
Spicy Noodle mess
We have also tried both the green and red curries. Both were good, but the red curry definitely had better flavor. I appreciated that both curry dishes had tons of different veggies that were perfectly cooked - not raw, but also not overdone. Also, JOYA does offer brown rice... you just have to ask for it!
Blurry green curry
We haven't tried the Mango Sticky rice, but that will change soon. =)
As far as the atmosphere, JOYA is a happening spot. It's been crowded each time we have gone, the bar filled with folks enjoying a cocktail while waiting for a table. I will note that the inside is pretty loud - the crowd plus the music may be overpowering for some. For those who prefer a quieter vibe, try to get a seat out back. While it may be a little harder to see your food (if its dark, as it was both times I visited as you can see from my pictures above), it will be much easier to enjoy conversation with your dining mates.
I will note: JOYA, like many NYC establishments, is CASH ONLY. Sigh. While it won't keep me from coming back, it is a little disappointing that so many places in NYC still don't accept plastic.
Do you like Thai food? If so, do you stick with one tried-and-true restaurant or are you always checking out new places?