Well, Thai isn’t my favorite cuisine. But there are some good ones in my Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood: Pure Thai and Wondee Siam, both on the stretch between 50th and 53rd.
Other than that, any food I like is my favorite while I’m eating it, so here are a few I go back to.
For authentic Mexican, try Tehuitzingo. Simple decor. The more comfortable of their two locations is on 9th avenue south of 42nd street. For dessert, cross the street and walk down a block and try the Cupcake Cafe, under the overpass. I’m not fond of cupcakes (anyone’s!), but they make great espresso and I love their apple pie.
Totto Ramen on 52nd between 8th and 9th is one of the best ramen restaurants around. There are long lines around standard meal times; usually you can get in without a wait around 2 or 3 pm.
Lately I’ve gone twice to Tio Pol, 10th Avenue between 22nd and 23rd. Excellent tapas and about 20 sherries by the glass. Start with a fino or a manzanilla. Only downside is uncomfortable chairs.
My favorite Lebanese in Manhattan is Naya, 2nd Ave between 55 and 56. The kibbe balls and the kibbe naya are especially good. I generally get a large mezze and skip the mishwe, though that’s good, too. Closer to (my) home, there’s a simple Israeli middle-eastern, Azuri, on 51st between 9th and 10th. It’s good, though the owner is rather, what the French would call, dur. He’s not really ignoring you. And for the friendly competition, try the Palestinian-owned Tanoreen. It’s a schelp out to Bay Ridge, but it is truly excellent. They make some things (like the tabouli) in a Lebanese style, which is a Good Thing. On a good night, their kibbe balls are the best I’ve had anywhere, and the kibbe naya and other dishes are very good, too.