On one of the coldest days of the year, we found ourselves in one of the city's hottest restaurants, literally. Ugly Baby, in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn is serving up unadulterated Thai food and you had better pack a heat shield. Chef Sirichai Sreparplarn's dishes offer intense flavors and folks are lining up out the door. Kua Kling, a southern dry eye round curry, is described as "brutally" spicy, while Laab Ped Udon (duck salad) also comes with a heat warning. Other dishes walk a thin hot line. Mee Kati Isan is a mix of rice noodles, sprouts and fresh vegetables topped with ground pork peanut curry with a healthy dose of chili oil, while Gao Golae, southern-style chicken skewers, offer a happy medium of coconut, peanut and spice. Our favorite dish was the Khoong Muk Kai Kem made with shrimp, squid and salted egg yolk. It is a truly memorable dish, while oversized grilled prawns are a show stopper served with a pungent spicy dipping sauce. Little coconut cakes with black bean and taro offer a nice respite from the intense heat. The restaurant is also getting high marks for its red snapper in a ginger and tamarind broth. If intense heat is what you crave, Ugly Baby is pretty attractive.
Review By: Thomas Rafael