Since I was moaning in another post about the now-ubiquitous nature of Thai places in the Detroit area, I got to thinking: what are the best Thai places in the area, based *solely* on the quality of food? Atmosphere is something that we're just going to have to put on the back burner, as most Thai places do most of their business in carry-out, and while there are some places that are meant to be eaten in, I've yet to really see a Thai "fine dining" establishment.
I'll start: Pi's Thai Cuisine in Hazel Park (as well as their secondary establishment at 16 & Dequindre in Sterling Heights) has always impressed me, no more so than with their tom yum soup that I'll make a meal of in itself (along with a bowl of rice). Spiciness in their dishes there is very potent, so the leery should go mild for sure. However, their ingredients are top-notch, and the taste comes through in spades. I've tried many things on the menu (none of the fried rices or anything...why bother eating Thai if this is what you're having?), and have rarely been disappointed. And as I said, the tom yum is fantastic.
Strictly for the pad thai noodle dish, Bangkok Cafe in Ferndale is good. Their standard pad thai includes both chicken *and* shrimp, and it's a good-sized, tasty portion. While they succeed in that dish, most everything else they serve is basically "Meh." There's nothing necessarily *wrong* with their other offerings, but neither are they anything tasty or savory. I tell my folks that "It's good as food, and that's about it." when referring to the rest of their menu.
And may I just take a moment of silence here to remember the former purveyor of Ny's Thai Cafe in Novi, who without any real notice at all up and moved to Switzerland because of his wife's job. Pany, we'll miss you. Heck, I *already* miss you. The business still exists, although it's under new ownership, and most of the menu didn't make the transition, sorry to say. The Vietnamese fresh spring rolls are still there, but they're not as good, and the whole place just seems lost without his enthusiasm and direction, not to mention his talent in the kitchen. If you never knew who Pany was, he was an established force in some of the finest kitchens in the Detroit area, and brought that experience to Ny's with him. His menu consisted not just of Thai, but many different Asian cuisines, and beyond (he's a certified French chef). He made a $3.50 creme brulee with homemade ice cream that would make you wonder how he found the time. It's a big loss, and considering that I used to travel to Novi from Ferndale *just* to go there, I'm honestly depressed about it.
OKAY! Enough of the moping! I want recommendations for places! Not only that, I want recommendations for *specific dishes* at those places! First person to recommend fried rice at one of them will be made to endure the Morgan Spurlock Treatment! ;)