I’m just getting into Thai. I’m kicking myself for being so late but I tend to fixate on one cuisine for a while and am just getting around to Thai. Trying to make up for lost time I’ve eaten 12 meals at 8 Thai restaurants in the last three and a half weeks. Now that I’ve gotten some bearings and a little familiarity I’d appreciate some recommendations about where to go next and what to try.
Following is a rundown of the meals I’ve had in order from the most impressive to least impressive; this is not a ranking of restaurants, just meals. The restaurants were chosen based on reputation, proximity to where I live and a whim. The dishes were mostly chosen on a whim - whatever looked good to me. Mostly I’ve stuck with the curries with and without coconut mik since I’ve been eating lot of Indian lately and it was easy to compare and contrast, but I’ve had the papaya salad twice, larb once, and 2 small samples of the soups on lunch specials. I have not had any noodle dishes.
This lacks much detail as I have a lot to learn. If you’re familiar with any of these restaurants, what did I miss, what are the best dishes. Or what restaurants are comparable or better. What’s your favorite Thai dish, what’s your favorite Thai restaurant in town and why.
V’s Thai - Green curry pork blew me away. On the lunch plate with a small cup of soup with chicken that was also very good but I’m not sure what it was. On a second visit the Phat King (?), pork and vegetables in a ginger sauce, was not as impressive nor was the soup.
Vieng Thai - Gang Pa - pork in a red curry paste (no Coconut milk), I really like the restaurant and the food. Thai Iced Tea was also the best I’ve had. On a second visit, E-sarn sausage and Larb (beef); again a good meal.
Nidda Thai - Pad Prick Khing - chicken in red curry paste; small cup of soup with tofu, fresh roll. This place and Vieng were basically on a par with each other and the edge goes to Vieng just because I’ve been there twice but the Pad Prick Khing was one of the two best dishes I’ve had along with the Green Curry Pork at V’s.
Kanomwan - Gang Pah - beef in red curry paste. I was impressed that the dish had the most diverse ingredients but compared to all I’ve read about this restaurant over the years I was underwhelmed, but only a little.
Fu Lu Su - Missouri City - second closest Thai restaurant to me so I wanted to check it out. A dive, home-style rather than haute cooking, huge portions and good if not great so far, but there is a problem with an odor due to a dog clinic next door so I’ll only do takeout. A very sweet older Thai lady does it all here. Green Curry Chicken, Sum Tom salad (best of the two I’ve had), Pud Prick King chicken (not as good as Nidda - she spells it as Pud throughout her menu).
Asia Market - Green Curry Chicken - very little chicken and undercooked, almost raw eggplant gave my stomach a lot of problems. The spiciest dish I’ve had.
Thai Spice Express on Bellaire - closest Thai to me so I wanted to check it out. Spicy seafood salad was good but Shrimp with Lemon Grass had a couple of shrimp that should have gone in the dumpster, I think.
Thai Lanna - obviously I’m not an authority but this was the most Americanized I’d say, the only thing that impressed was the peanut sauce with the soft spring rolls.
I’ll go back to all except probably Thai Lanna but Asia Market and Kanomwan are the farthest away so I’ll probably concentrate on others closer for the time being.
Thanks for any comments and suggestions.
Fu Lu Su Restaurant
2487 Cartwright Rd, Missouri City, TX 77459
Thai Lanna Restaurant
1714 West Loop N, Houston, TX 77008
Thai Spice Express
8282 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77036
6929 Long Point Rd, Houston, TX 77055