Purple Yam – Comfortable, Craveable Lumpia

I wish there was a really great Asian restaurant in our neighborhood.

 You know the type…when you just walk in wearing jeans and a sweatshirt and can sit down to Thai soup or Korean buns.

Where you can order in and they know your apartment number because they come so often.

Where you can still go on a casual friends date because it’s nice enough.

A place like Purple Yam

I went here with a girlfriend because it is a stone’s throw away from her apartment. It was a cold night and the vibe inside was warm, friendly, and welcoming. It’s casual and Ikea-sleek, and the excellent service was apparent from the moment we sat down.

IMG_20131107_193044_015 Mussels in Thai coconut curry

Just what you want on a blustery night. Plump, sweet mussels in an aromatic coconut broth. the curry flavor is very light, and while it is highly seasoned with cilantro, lemongrass, and scallions, it is not overly garlicky or spicy. The tender red peppers strewn through the broth are only lightly cooked, so they retain their sweet snap. This is perfect for someone who likes the taste of coconut and is mild enough for someone who is scared of curry – it’s a great intro dish.
IMG_20131107_193949_888 Lumpia Shanghai

I LOVE these Filipino eggrolls – they are like uber-large spring rolls! Crisp, shattering wrappers surrounding ground pork, shredded vegetables, and springy noodles. Dip them in the sweet and tangy pineapple dipping sauce and prepare to be in fried food heaven. These are light, greaseless, and come in a very generous portion. I can’t recommend these enough – I’m still dreaming of them, actually!
IMG_20131107_195142_061 Market greens in Thai green curry

It’s Brooklyn, so there was going to be at least one hipster-local-seasonal dish. This is very good, but I can’t put my finger on why. The bok choy, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and other vegetables are tender but still have a fresh, verdant bite. The curry is, like with the mussels, mild and creamy. It’s light but the sauce is rich. Eating it with some of the accompanying sticky rice is just so comforting and tasty. I wouldn’t go back especially for this dish, but I would be happy to eat it again.
IMG_20131107_195614_917 Pork buns

The one item that was lackluster. Pulled pork with some Asian spices in a steamed bun. Okay but not great – nowhere near the best I have had.

Purple Yam is just a great neighborhood joint. The prices are VERY reasonable, the service and atmosphere are lovely, and the service is great.

It’s just the kind of joint I wish we had in our neck of the woods. 

Purple Yam on Urbanspoon