Brooklyn’s Somtum Der Closes to Flip Into a New Thai Restaurant – Eater NY

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The team behind popular East Village Isan Thai spot, Somtum Der, is rebooting its now-closed Red Hook offshoot (located at 380 Van Brunt Street, between Dikeman and Wolcott streets): The new restaurant will be called Goog, with a focus on simple, less spicy Thai comfort foods found in small Bangkok cook shops. It’s scheduled to open on Saturday, April 13.

The Isan style wasn’t the right fit for the neighborhood, business partner Supanee Kitmahawong tells Eater.

Following in the footsteps of its original location in Bangkok, in 2013, Somtum Der landed in Manhattan; then in 2018, took its fiery Isan menu to a second location in Brooklyn. Kitmahawong says that the East Village is an easily accessible destination that draws an Asian American customer, particularly Thai and Laotian, whose dining customs matched that of the Isan tradition that the restaurant offers: a family-style sharing of everything from appetizer to entree and dessert.

But Red Hook — an hour-long, subway-plus-bus ride away from Times Square — is more of a neighborhood spot. Sales leaned toward milder, one-dish meals like pad thai, pad see ew, and khao soi. The team also learned that with lots of artist and studios, there was a demand for service during Somtum Der’s 4 to 6 p.m. break.

Instead of making piecemeal changes to the Red Hook location and detracting from the group’s Isan focus, the team decided to build out a new concept to meet its market.

They’ve brought in executive chef Rachanon Kampimarn, of Untable in Carroll Gardens, to oversee Goog’s kitchen (who’s still at Untable, too). Some highlights on the new menu include: ho mok, grilled red curry fish custard wrapped in banana leaf; massaman curry with slow-braised flat-iron beef; khao gai zapp, fried chicken with white rice; and a creamy tom yum soup with wild prawn.

Goog will be open on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from noon to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday from noon to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday noon to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday noon to 9:30 p.m. Happy hour runs from 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays.

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