Next of Kin

This new Thai spot takes no prisoners

Harold Dieterle isn't taking the easy road with his second restaurant, Kin Shop.

We wouldn't have complained if he'd opened something similar to his first spot, Perilla; it certainly would have required less work. But Dieterle doesn't shy away from a challenge, and so Kin Shop's menu veers into new territory: Thai food.

Dieterle pays it forward, so to speak, by passing the challenge on to his diners: rich, fragrant and bold flavors more common in Queens than the West Village.

It's a risk that pays off. Deeply fiery duck laab ($13; pictured on the left) gets its heat from roasted chiles of such intensity that anyone preparing them needs to wear a mask. Were it not for the dish's cool lettuce wrappings and a bottle of Hitachino beer in close proximity, we would have cried uncle–which would have been a loss.

Squid-ink soup ($10) is tuned for richness rather than heat. Tubes of squid stuffed with crumbled beef brisket bob in the musky shellfish base (which boasts almost urchin-like flavors), and pools of hot sesame oil break the surface–a nutty grounding for this seafaring dish.

And the true test of a good Thai kitchen–curry–scores big: Each is made daily with fresh spices procured from the Saffron King. Opt for the Massaman ($21; pictured on the right), which blankets a slow-braised goat neck with fragrant, coconut-y sweetness.

Blessed are the risk takers.

Kin Shop, 469 6th Ave.; 212-675-4295 or kinshopnyc.com