Went and tried Titaya's Thai Restaurant last night. It's on 5501 N. Lamar, where Fortune Pho used to be. The decor inside is pleasant - nicely painted walls and little wall decor items that you'd probably expect to see.
The waitstaff there were very attentive --- absolutely no gripes there.
- Crispy Egg Roll w/ Chicken - a damn fine execution of a classic. It was pretty easy to tell that these were assembled fresh about 5 minutes before they got to our table. Nice cuts of white meat chicken, with fresh veggies (they still had a little snap to them, despite being dunked in a fryer), and little uneven fry-spots on the rice paper.
- Gang Som. You'll find this on the "Specials" section of the menu. Menu description: Thai style red curry with Catfish mixed with Napa cabbages, green beans and white radish. I'm not sure what "Thai style" red curry is supposed to be, but the dish is essentially a broth... and mother of Mary, a HOT one!!! You know it's gonna be good when you see the red oils floating on top. The radishes and beans were very fresh and tasty. The large chunks of catfish tasted great. The dish is a little pricey at $12.95, but probably could feed two.
- Vermicelli Lover. Menu description: Steamed vermicelli served with shredded Lettuce, carrot, bean sprouts and cilantro. Topped with ground peanut. Served with vegetable egg roll and house sweet and sour sauce. We got it with chicken. Again, all very fresh tasting veggies and well-cooked chicken pieces.
- Black rice pudding. I've only had this once before, but this was awesome.
Soooo.... since I'm a Thai novice, and I've got to imagine that other Chowhounders out there have been here (it was pretty busy for a weeknight), what are your impressions? To sum it all up, I thought the meal was really on a higher level than Thai Tara, Thai Passion, and Thai Kitchen. If there are better Thai options in Austin, I'd love to know about them! I've read about Little Thailand... it sounds like this is the only one here that is one of those universally loved choices, as Thai goes.
Titaya's Thai Cuisine
5501 N Lamar Blvd Ste C101, Austin, TX 78751