|From the Cambodian Cuisines Website|
Cambodian? How many Cambodian (a.k.a. Khmer) restaurants are there in Manhattan? Not many. According to Google, there are two -- The Norry and Bun & Co. -- and I've never been to either. So of course, I couldn't resist this truck's bright yellow allure. Before I knew it, I'd been involuntarily drawn to the ordering window and was asking the very nice lady behind it for her advice on what to eat.
It turns out that the truck is a reincarnation of Cambodian Cuisine, a restaurant that began with a storefront in Brooklyn and later moved to the Upper East Side. (I think "torsu" means "on wheels.") Evidently, they were forced to move both times because of lease disputes with landlords. The restaurant's website describes their side of the story.
In truth, I don't know Khmer cuisine very well at all. I fell for it hard during the one short summer when I lived in Oakland, where there's a sizable Cambodian expat community. In Boston, Justin and I were regulars at the Elephant Walk, when we lived there years ago. But we've never been to Cambodia, we've never eaten at the homes of Cambodian friends. So I can only judge these dishes based on my highly subjective tastes, not based on any deep knowledge of the cuisine.
|S.E.A. Chhar Kroeurn|
I wasn't blown away by the two dishes I tried, in truth, but I thought they were enjoyable to eat and a ridiculously good bargain for the amount and quality: All main course dishes are $5.75. Soups and appetizer salads are about $3.50. Also, I'm a sucker for anything I haven't tried before. I'll certainly be seeking out this truck, again, especially to try the soups while the weather's still cool -- and then the shaved ice when the weather turns warm.
* I found them in front of Stern Business School at 44 West 4th Street, New York 10012, on a Monday night, around 10 p.m. They said they usually park on nearby LaGuardia St. near W. 3rd, though I haven't seen them there, before, either. Supposedly they'll be updating their location through Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/camcuisinetorsu