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Restaurants & Bars 4

Thai realignment in Olympia

Peter | Jan 10, 200507:22 PM

Olympia is not a particularly discerning food town (as I've posted in the past), so we have to be grateful for what we can get. A new entrant has reshuffled the deck in Thai restaurants, emerging on top (IMO) -- Chili Thai.

I've been there twice in the last week. Some highlights:

They have the appetizer, whose name escapes me right now, in which you roll up edible leaves with dried shrimp, peanuts, coconut, chilies, etc. Love that stuff.

Their Chili Thai noodles were not overcooked or smothered in gummy sauce, a rarity in Olympia, and the flavor was complex and balanced (sweet and hot).

Pork larb was not too salty or too sweet, just right.

BBQ'ed chicked was a little dry but otherwise tasty, with its rather sweet (but slightly kicky) dipping sauce.

Papaya salad was a little nam pla-heavy and undersupplied with peanuts and strips of chili, but generally acceptable.

Sticky rice dessert is sticky and sweet and altogether enjoyable.

Dishes seemed to be spiced on the hot side. My partner and I compromised on a 3 out of 5 (yes, I would have gone for a 5 -- Thai hot), but the heat was more noticeable than I would have expected. On the down side, I twice asked for sliced chilies in nam pla to scoop over my food, but this isn't provided. (They do have chili sauce, dried chilies, etc.) But, to my knowledge, no one else in Olympia serves this.

Prices are low; ambience is minimal. Chili Thai is located on Lacy Blvd next to the post office. (It is a block or so away from Paco's Tacos, which some on this list have recommended -- my one visit didn't scream for a repeat.)

So there's my report. I'll be interested to hear from the other Olyhounds.

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