September 21, 2011

Restaurant Review: Taste of Thai

We're big fans of Thai food.  I have cooked a fair number of Thai dishes, and we're always happy to find a good Thai restaurant.   That being the case, we were pleased by our recent visit to Taste of Thai.  It was our first time there, but it won't be the last.

Taste of Thai is located in the East Village, in the same building that previously housed a restaurant called A Taste of Thailand.  That restaurant was a Des Moines mainstay for more than two decades, but it closed a few years ago.  My hope is that Taste of Thai will have at least as long a tenure as did its predecessor.

The restaurant isn't much to look at from the outside, but the interior decor is quite nice.   "Classy without pretense, with plenty of Thai accents" is a pretty apt summary.

Taste of Thai doesn't serve a great number of dishes, but the ones they do serve represent a pretty good sample of Thai cuisine.   The curries feature the thin gravy that is typical of Thai curries, rather than a thick one as one finds in Indian curries.  Vegetable and seafood dishes are well-represented.  Everything is served attractively. 

We had two appetizers, crab rangoon and chicken satay.  The first was served with a sweet sauce, the second with a peanut sauce and a relish.  Both appetizers were quite good, but I can't say they were a good deal given the price. 

Juli ordered pineapple fried rice with chicken for her entree, while I ordered a red curry with beef and squash.  The entrees were even better than the appetizers, and unlike the appetizers, they were more than worth the price.  The servings were quite generous.  I thought the red curry was particularly good, as the various flavors - hot peppers, lemongrass, galangal - were distinct enough to be noticed while still providing a balanced flavor to the dish.

For dessert, we shared an order of mango sticky rice.  As with the entrees, the dessert was delicious and the portion more than generous.  This was perhaps the best version of this standard Thai delicacy we've ever had.

Really, the only thing we didn't like about our visit to Taste of Thai was the beverage we ordered.  We both ordered ice tea, and what we got wasn't what we expected.   We were served a fragrant tea that probably would have been quite good hot, but as an ice tea it was just wrong. 

Taste of Thai was doing good business when we were there, both restaurant dining and take-out. We hope they continue to do good business, and we plan to do our part to make sure Taste of Thai is a success.

Taste of Thai is located at 215 E. Walnut St.Des Moines, IA 50309.  Their hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner Mondays through Saturdays.

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