Koh Lipe is named for a small island in Southern Thailand, where owner Phanom Suksaen, a.k.a. Patrick (Eat BKK, Si Lom) is from.
While serving go-to choices like pad thai, pad see ew, curries and khao soi, Koh Lipe specializes in dishes from the nominal island region, including several featuring the notoriously pungent stink bean.
The two-level space was formerly home to Platito, and is now decked out in a colourful mural on the first floor.
Origami-style fish dangle above the staircase, and on the second floor a vibrantly painted boat is suspended overhead.
Gai Tod Hat Yai ($9.95) is Southern-Thailand-style fried chicken that's been marinated with lots of fresh ground cumin, garlic, and dry chillis then roasted and deep fried, served with a sticky sweet plum sauce.
Guey Tiew Khaek ($14.95) is followed by the parenthetical "Islamic noodle" on the menu, but it's really not much like the Salad King secret item. Instead, it's a comforting and spicy dish of rice noodles in a peanut and red curry gravy with your choice of beef or veggies and tofu, topped with hard-boiled egg.
Pa Phed Sa Tor Koong ($18.95) is my introduction to the world of the stink bean, otherwise a quite wonderful if very spicy shrimp curry. The flat green beans are waxy at first, then almost creamy before an overpowering natural gas effect takes over.
Patrick confesses he's unsure why people like them, but swears this legume has its diehard fans, and while I share his point of view, eating these is definitely a sensory experience.
Luok Jhim ($25.95) can be found in the "Chef Special" section of the menu, a lettuce wrap meal that sees steamed shrimp, fat mussels, squid and fluffy tilapia presented on a metal platter with noodles and a fiery house hot sauce made with green chili and garlic.
Wrap the seafood in the lettuce with a few noodles and some of the bright, aromatic and very spicy hot sauce for a light, fresh Southern Thai take on the typical lettuce meal.
Kha Moo Tod ($25.95) is another Chef Special item, roasted and deep-fried pork knuckle with crispy skin and a thick layer of fat reminiscent of lechon, but perhaps a little less fatty, served with hot sauce. A cabbage and carrot slaw is bright and acidic, and rice wrapped in a banana leaf is extremely sticky.
Mango coconut sticky rice ($8.95) is a sweet dessert topped with a crackable chocolate mango.
A Lycheetini ($9) is a basic and very floral mix of vodka, lychee juice and grenadine.
Koh Lipe also boasts a 20-seat front patio with a flower wall as well as a back patio.