Thai Restaurants in the US

Thai Restaurants in the US

Posted on 06. Jun, 2010 by in Thailand

Since we got home, it feels like things have been go, go, go!  As we mentioned in our last post, we have been doing lots of traveling to visit friends and family.  And it has been really great to see everyone and catch up with what’s been happening in their lives over the past year.  But as fun as it has been, it actually can wear us out!  I guess it’s like a little kid who spends a day having fun at a waterpark or something- so full of energy while there, and then conked out in the car on the way home :) .

Our pace of life finally slowed down some this week, and we’ve found more time to spend job hunting on the internet, as well as doing some relaxing things like reading a book and baking cookies.  Oh yes, and blogging.

It’s been awhile since we’ve blogged about food, and I know you’re going through withdrawals, so here we go…

Thai Restaurant Reviews

We have been to four different Thai restaurants since we’ve been back.  Any time you visit the place where a food is originally from, and try to find the same thing at home, you’re bound to be disappointed.  Your best bet is usually to try to make it yourself so that you can adjust the taste to what you remember.  I was a harsh critic of Korean restaurants when I returned from Korea, and Thai restaurants are much more popular here, so there are many more to critique in the search for the most authentic taste.  Here’s where we’ve been so far.

1. It’s Thai – Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles

Seemed to be a popular restaurant in the area.  And really, the food wasn’t bad… it just didn’t taste like Thailand.  The flavor profiles were there on some dishes, but they seemed watered down.  One dish we tried was Tom Yum Gai.  And while it had the sour taste we knew, it wasn’t as spicy or rich as we hoped.

2. Bangkok Cuisine – Rochester, Michigan

First off, this restaurant has HUGE serving sizes!  We ordered three main dishes to share (aka. “Thai style”), and soup.  The platter of Pad Thai was the equivalent of at least three servings at our favorite place in Bangkok!  So expect to have leftovers.  The food was not bad here, either, but it was the most blatant example of “Americanizing” Thai food that we’ve tasted so far.  The dishes tasted like what you’d expect Chinese take-out food to taste like- lots of gooey sauce that is very sweet or salty.  I’m also pretty sure they used a good amount of MSG in their dishes, although I can’t be positive.  So basically, it’s not bad food, it just doesn’t taste like real Thai food.

3. Roseded – Lincoln Square, Chicago

A little hole-in-the-wall with staff that speaks Thai, Buddhist blessing symbols on the door, and pictures of the king posted in plain view, this place was obviously different from the ones we tried before.  And the food was different, too!  SO GOOD!  The Tom Yum was extremely authentic (and very spicy), and the Basil Pork was fabulous.  I wasn’t as thrilled with the papaya salad we ordered, but I was picky about that in Thailand, too.  If you’re in the area, I’d definitely recommend this place.

4. Aroy Thai – Ravenswood, Chicago

We visited this restaurant with two Thai friends, and they gave it the thumbs up.  Very tasty, authentic food, in a classier atmosphere.  The Basil Pork was very good here, although “fancier” than usual.  The Pad Siyiu was my personal favorite, although it was sweeter than I usually ate it in Thailand.  Great place if you want to feel a little more fancy, but Roseded is better for a closer to authentic experience.

Hopefully next time we’re in Fort Wayne, we’ll have a chance to check out our former favorites, Baan Thai and Switta Thai to see how they measure up.

Have you been to any Thai restaurants?  Where were they, what did you order, and how did you like it??

2 Responses to “Thai Restaurants in the US”

  1. David

    06. Jun, 2010

    I avoided Thai restaurants for a while after returning from Thailand, knowing I’d likely be disappointed – plus the fact that even if it’s an authentic taste, you know you’re paying 20x the price of what you’d pay in Thailand.

    A lot of Thai places here in Melbourne Australia are run by Chinese and hence don’t come close (not that the food isn’t nice – but it’s not really Thai). I had a laugh yesterday visiting a local noodle shop which I hadn’t been to for ages. They advertised their new dish: “Pad Thai”. I looked at the picture and saw they didn’t even use the right noodles, but I figured I’d give it a go (I was hungry and just looking for food – not Thai in particular). As it turns out, I think I counted one ingredient of my noodles that might actually be found in pad thai – they had a few limp bean sprouts. Other than that it literally shared nothing in common with pad thai!

    Lemon Leaf Thai – Knox, Melbourne. Pricey and not particularly authentic. Had tom yum goong as a starter, can’t remember main. Food tasted nice enough – but it was more Chinese with Thai influence than real Thai.

    Payom Thai – Vermont, Melbourne. Authentic but pricey. Waitresses spoke Thai (always a good sign). Had kao pad gai and a red curry amongst other things. Food was good, the kao pad tasted quite similar to that in Thailand although not exactly the same. Was able to get nam blah prik too.

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  2. Brook

    07. Jun, 2010

    I remember getting back to the States and eating our first Thai food from a “Thai” restaurant… It just doesn’t “add up” in my book…

    …But then one day we were near Harrisburg, PA, speaking at a church conference and decided Thai food sounded good and our GPS took us to Bangkok Wok. It was GREAT food, but it still breaks the bank compared to street food in Thailand…

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