Most Westerners don't know real Thai food. We think we're adventurous for ordering papaya salad (often made stateside without the nose-turning salty dried shrimp paste known as going haeng) or pad thai (what should be salty and spicy, not sweet, as it usually is here). But Moon Thai will make you forget all those safe Thai joints as it spirits you off to the streets of Bangkok in all its tongue-burning, sinus-clearing glory. Chef-owner Jack Punma has been offering his homeland's staples in a way that is neither fusion-style nor copycat. Take the larp ($12), a dish of finely minced meat or seafood seasoned with lime juice, fish sauce, chili peppers, and Thai basil served with a finely ground toasted rice—a traditional dish Punma had often as a child growing up in Phitsanulok. Likewise, the tom yum goong ($4.50)—a traditional hot-and-sour soup—is a generously herbed broth with the right balance of lemongrass, chili, fish sauce, and kaffir lime, the steaming stock dotted with whole prawns, straw mushrooms, and chopped green onion. It's mouth-puckeringly tart with a powerful, spicy kick, a downright cold-killing concoction. Perhaps the most traditional of all, however, is the mango sticky rice, Thailand's ode to the denouement of mango season. A glutinous, short-grained rice is cooked until it attains a gooey, opaque consistency. Still steaming, it's packed into a dense globe and drenched in a thick layer of coconut milk, then decorated with a rash of toasted sesame seeds.