By David Minsky
By Nicole Danna
By Sara Ventiera
By Candace West
By Emily Dabau
By Doug Fairall
By Candace West
By Laine Doss
Indigo's version, a big pile of chopped romaine and radicchio tossed with roasted garlic-chile-lime vinaigrette and garnished with slabs of very ripe, very orange papaya, wasn't bad. It just wasn't green papaya salad. A polite question to our waitress, who by now had settled on annoyance over ennui, produced a fair amount of consternation and gnashing of teeth -- and the eventual response that the papaya was green on the outside.
And by the way, the missing duck? A minor kitchen screwup, sending out chicken instead of quacker. Note to diners: get the duck. It's fabulous, moist and succulent and worth the hassle over the damn salad.
The rest of the meal went like this: Snapper baked in banana leaves was OK, though with none of the elusive, fruity perfume and flavor those shiny green leaves can impart. Grilled, heads-on prawns were a knockout -- four fat suckers, big as a fist but oh-so-much tastier -- bathed in a wickedly pungent marinade redolent of sweet spices and propped up on a bed of fried rice with tricolor peppers.
I'd love to tell you about dessert, maybe some luscious caramelized bananas flamed with rum, or coconut-scented sticky rice with sweet, ripe mango. But no. Cheesecake, tiramisu, crème brûlée, and key lime pie. Wait a minute, did I miss something? Weren't we just in Asia?
Tell you the truth, by this point, it was a relief to go, even into a night so hot and humid that you could reach up and grab a handful of air and wring it out like a wet towel. Dining at Indigo is frustrating, because the place has a lot going for it: great location, skill in the kitchen, that stellar wine list. All it needs is -- repeat after me -- a clue.