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10 Great Meals for Under $15 in Hell's Kitchen

Pure Thai Shop House

Address: 766 9th Ave.
Website: purethaishophouse.com
Best Bet: Ratchuburi Crab & Pork Dry Noodle ($10)

In a neighborhood where it's impossible to not pass a Thai restaurant (or three) on every block, choosing a spot to get your spring roll fix becomes Mission: Impossible — Thailand.

There over over thirty Thai restaurants on the 9th Avenue stretch between 43rd-58th Street alone, any of which will serve you a halfway decent dish of Pad Thai, but Pure Thai Shop House is the one place that goes beyond the basics, and does it with minimal billfold-bruising.

Pure's digs are also a major draw. The incredibly narrow restaurant has a rustic warmth, from the unfinished wood paneling to the low hanging light-bulbs that dangle from its ribbed tin ceiling. Pure is not just a restaurant, it's a shop house, which means you can take home authentic eats, from Thai coffee to Durian chips (that weird fruit that even Anthony Bourdain can't stomach). But it's real appeal is not these takeaway items, but the seriously sensational plates their killer kitchen turns out. 

Pure's menu is divided into two parts: wok stir-fried dishes and noodles. If you want to go the wok-way, go for the Wok-Basil with Chicken ($10), a spicy mix of ground chicken, chili-garlic puree and their "holy basil" sauce, a combo that incites "Amens" upon consumption.

Pure also does noodles particularly proper, especially the Ratchuburi Crab & Pork Dry Noodle ($9), a bowl of handmade egg noodle, flavor-packed-pork with legit fresh crab meat (hard to come across!) and crunchy bok choy, which gives off an amazing foreign fragrance that sets it far apart from yawn-inducing, Americanized-Thai food.

This is not your Grandma's Thai joint. This is a place to come if you want to dive into some adventurous, ethnic eats packed with exotic flavors, and maybe even a spice or two your pallete's never partook in. But you like to eat on the edge like we do, Pure Thai Shop House will do right by your mouth and your money.

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