I ate some Thai yesterday with my fellow intern and friend Nick who is returning to London today. The restaurant "Republic" is on the northwest corner of Union Square next to the McDonald's. I got a safe dish, noodles and chicken, but I put lots of spicing in it so it got really hot towards the end. The service is friendly, but I was a little shocked when they sat us next to some total strangers (I looked at Nick and said "are they serious?" incredulously) on a long table-kind of cafeteria style. The food was fast, fresh and not too expensive. Combine those elements with a highly charged atmosphere and a restaurant I would definitely recommend checking out, especially if you like those clear noodles (which according to one source have little nutritional value).