The goods: The Yardbird team has unveiled Khong River House, a post-colonial homage to northern Thailand and Vietnam, in South Beach’s former Miss Yip space.
Ambience: Bare lightbulbs, Thai fishing traps, scuffed brick walls and Thai license plates create an industrial, globetrotting vibe. The main dining room can get loud; seek out dining “alcoves” in the back for a quieter, more intimate atmosphere.
The grub: Northern Thai, Vietnamese and Burmese street food from executive Chef Piyarat Potha Arreeratn (aka Chef Bee). Most small plates average $12, shareable mains are $17-$36 and rice is $4.
Begin with Burmese noodle wraps with dried red chile, roasted peanuts, palm sugar, lemon and cilantro. Move on to small plates like fiery chicken wings flash-fried and dressed in a sticky chile sauce and grilled eggplant salad with mint and sour roasted chile paste. Specialties include spicy, aged pork ginger salad with fried curried rice balls; jungle curry with fragrant tiny bitter eggplants, chicken, peppercorns, baby corn and mushrooms; rotisserie chicken (gai yaang) marinated in coconut milk and lemongrass; and salt-crusted grilled whole fish stuffed with basil and lemongrass.
Desserts include Thai donuts with chocolate and lemon curd dipping sauces, coconut cake and mango napoleon.
Verdict: The Yardbird crew takes you to Thailand.