If dim sum, Sichuan cuisine, and great deals on cookware aren’t reason enough to get you to Chinatown, then go for bona fide Thai food in the heart of the nabe.
Americanized favorites such as pad thai and crab Rangoon dot the menu, but opt instead for one of the more authentic house specialties. Fermented pork and rice sausages burst with a hint of tangy funk on your tongue ($7 for 12). Sweet-spicy ground chicken with peppers and fried basil leaves is flanked by rich indigo-hued wedges of preserved duck egg ($11). Offset the decadence of the shredded-pork-laced fried Thai omelet with a few drops of vinegary Thai hot sauce ($8).
Bar crawlers, take note: Sala Bua’s late-night menu (till 2 a.m.) tops out at $7, martinis cost $9, and the restaurant remains open as late as the bar.