Som Tam is a very well known dish I believe. It is very popular in Thailand, across the whole country... not just in the Northeastern or Esarn where it originated from. And most Thais have a feeling that the best Som Tam does not come from a fancy restaurant, but a very local vendor. We normally pay about 20-30 Baht for a dish... when the price goes up to 50 Baht we start to feel that it's expensive.
Som Tam Thai
Som Tam is made from raw grated papaya mixed with small tomatoes, long beans, peanuts, dried shrimps, chili and garlic... seasoned with coconut sugar, lime juice and fish sauce. Voila - that's Som Tam Thai! All this mixing is done in a wood or earthen mortar... never a stone one because the weight of the stone won't just mix the salad, but crush everything flat.
The dish is often served with fresh local vegetables such as long beans, cabbages or cucumbers. To make the meal complete, it goes with Thai sticky rice.
There are a lot of variations of Som Tam that you could try as well...
Replacing papaya with something else is also an option. Carrot is already a popular addition to papaya for Som Tam Thai in many restaurants. Replacing the papaya completely create a new name for the dish.