Thai Diva has two in-house menus. A hefty binder rounds up the usual suspects — basil fried rice, drunken noodles, a fistful of curries — many of which might well be tasty. None, however, are as compelling as the dozen or so items on the single-sheet Northern Thai menu.
Compare, for example, larb Muang (shown with beef, $12) with a typical Isan, or Northeastern Thai, rendition of that minced-meat salad. The latter, relatively pale and coarse, is dusted with toasted rice powder, and the dominant flavor is sour as well as spicy. Thai Diva's larb, prepared to a recipe the chef learned from her mother in Chiang Mai, dispenses with lime juice and similar souring agents. It's more finely minced, dark with a heady blend of seasonings crushed to a paste, and dressed with fried garlic. Different, delicious.
Also delightful: nam prik ong ($7), a chunky dip of ground pork, tomatoes, soybeans, and (in sparing portion) fermented shrimp. It's meant to be eaten with the accompanying steamed vegetables, hardboiled egg, and fried pork skins, but I'd dearly love to pile it on a soft roll and make myself a Chiang Mai sloppy joe! For more photos, see the EIT page on Facebook.
Thai Diva Cuisine
45-53 46th St. (Queens Blvd.-47th Ave.), Sunnyside, Queens