I was pleasantly surprised with a recent visit to Spice Room, a Thai place that has been open a few months in Columbia City. Surprised, because I long ago grew weary of the banality of the ubiquitous, standardized menus available at nearly every Ameri-Thai place in Seattle. First, the place made a considerable investment in decor: gauzy curtains between tables, pendant lights, an abstract mural and a floor-lit buddhist statue in the entry. Definitely a step away (and above IMO) the typical faded tourist ministry posters and photos of Thai royalty one more commonly finds. The best part of the menu at Spice Room is the "adventurous" section, from which we ordered catfish with young peppercorn and chicken with sour bamboo, both of which featured one-off flavors, brightness, and competent wok-work. We also liked the mieng kham appetizer they served, and will return for the kao soi and the whole fish.