Pad thai is my measuring stick for Thai restaurants. Must not be grey or sticky, lots of bean sprouts, chicken and shrimp, peanuts and loads of lime wedges. Then my favorites are Thom yum goong 5 hot (that's the fiery shrimp/lemongrass/mushroom soup that comes in a lit server); spicy catfish; laab (hard to find when it's perfect but it must have lots of cilantro, onions & pepper); a hit-the-roof relish of braised fresh thai chilis and onion, (you know, those mean little mothers that my chickens destroy); green papaya salad (don't let them substitute carrots); and oh yes, spicy garlic scallops, and a red tamarind curry.
Can you tell I'm an addict? Can't wait to go to Thailand as a foodaholic. I'm going to look for ShoeGal's green jade curry!