Had a coupon in my entertainment book for Thai Place. Hadn't been there in over a year. They used to be the only place in my neighborhood of Vancouver, Cascade Park, but now there are three others, including Arawan outpost, which is probably the best of the lot, both in the quality of the food and the quality of the atmosphere. All three of these new restaurants replaced Thai Place, which made its pad thai with ketchup instead of tamarind and had a very narrow menu. The people there were supremely nice and the food cheap. So we decided to use our coupon for a cheap meal.
Well, to put it simply, they've greatly improved. First of all, the items are much more authentic, eg, using tamarind, not ketchup, for the pad thai. But they're also prepared much better overall. The flavors are fresher and better.
The menu is also greatly improved. eg, they've added larb, yum nuer, tod mun pla, manora, nam sod, chao phraya, and several items I'm not familiar with like khao yai and gaang jeut.
We got the pad thai with tofu, the tod mun pla, and the nam sod. All were good. The pad thai could have used a little more fish sauce and some lime, I think, but was decent. The tod mun pla (curried fish cakes) was tasty and nicely fried with a slightly spicy sweet and sour sauce. A little too green oniony for me, but I liked them. The nam sod (similar to larb, but with ginger and no toasted rice) was the best of the three. It was a little too gingery for me, but quite tasty.
Now I want to go back and see if they've improved their curries and try some of the other miscellaneous less common dishes.