Cool eats: Indochine Cafe

From the 07/07/2011 edition

Papaya salad (Goi Du Du, $6.50)

Ever more prevalent in Columbus, green papaya salads are like intense Southeast Asian slaws designed to slay a fierce tropical heat. Perhaps counterintuitively, part of their cooling power lies in the push-and-pull and the warm-up-to-chill-out provided by handfuls of chili and lots of lime juice. Indochine's unique version stands out for its balance between citrus and sweetness and its righteous coalition of botanical singe (from chili flakes) and complexity (from garlic, fermented fish sauce and shrimp paste). Pleasantly pungent and large enough for sharing, this wild salad also charms with contrapuntal garnishes of sliced ripe cherry tomatoes (emphasizing the unripe papaya's fruitiness) and pork rinds, which supply a dry and piggy crunch.