The neighborhood’s newest culinary attraction is the Thai restaurant Nodus, located at what used to be the Flagship Entertainment store just next to Sidetracks on Queens Blvd south by 45th street. It opened just last week, and tonight we went there for a noodilicious dinner.
There is quite a high density of Thai restaurants in Sunnyside, so one may question whether opening up another one makes sense, but Nodus definitely brings something new to the table – both figuratively and literally. Unlike the other local Thai places, it focuses specifically on noodle dishes, and it’s surprisingly varied menu offers many unique items. The interior decor and atmosphere, dominated by a glowing wall-mounted Buddha – is both modern and welcoming, and also distinguishes it from its local competitors.
Among the unique appetizers on the menu are these mini chicken empanadas ($4.50). The pair comes with the nearly translucent sauce you see on the right. They are very soft and delicious, reminiscent more of Indian dosas than of Thai food.
By now I’ve sampled the classic Tom Yum soup from nearly every local Thai restaurant, and the one from Nodus just took the prize for first place. For a mere $4 you get this bountiful platter, containing ample shrimp, garnish, and exceptional mushrooms. What really makes this superior is the perfect balance of spice and taste. It is quite spicy, but not as much so as the one from Thai-Malay cafe and in my opinion, just right. I should also mention that when the waiter heard me comment on the spiciness, he brought over a complimentary Thai iced tea (we didn’t order any, as we usually do, because we just had some out in Manhattan earlier in the day).
One of Nodus’ specialties is a “big noodle bowl” ($9) which comes with a variety of entrees. This is the “five spice duck” one. Each bowl comes with a choice of noodle type (I believe there are five to choose from), and seen above are the “angel hair” thin noodles. The entire combination was well done, with the sauce complementing both the duck and the noodles quite nicely.
I’ve never seen this particular dish (Northern style curry noodles -$7.50) so was curious to try it. It comes with a choice of meat, and is an intriguing amalgam of a curry dish with a noodle dish. Essentially noodles in red curry sauce, the dish is enhanced by the mix of vegetables, including some crispy ones that I couldn’t quite identify. Overall it was a very pleasant dining experience, and you get great value for your money here. They apparently also have some $7 lunch special, although I have yet to try one.