Restaurants & Bars 10

Thai Villa - Cary, NC

Nab | Jun 15, 200509:59 AM

This is likely the best Thai in the Triangle. Some friends have been singing the praise forever, and I would either brush it off or at least put it on the backburner on my list of places to try. I finally got around to it last night.

Stopped in last night for a very quick bite before heading to Raleigh for a show. We were in a rush and I only wanted a small bite, so I kept it simple. I was a little nervous when I didn't see a papaya salad on the menu, a decent benchmark for evaluation, so I opted for the larb. Also had some bites out of the num tok which is basically the same thing, w/ beef instead of ground chicken. Both were very refreshing on that scorcher of a day, however, they were also scorching hot too, which I loved. No need to ask for it spicy, as I normally would feel compelled to do. Very fresh & tasty.

Also had some bites of pad ki mow (they call them Thai Villa Noodles on the menu), which I find to be another good measure of a Thai restaurant. They excelled here too, noodles were spot-on, as were the flavors. This one had shrimp, and they certainly were not skimpy with it. Some other folks at the table had the typical curries, panang & red, which both smelled and looked great.

The menu does look promising, even if I was a little skeptical after not seeing a broader selection of soups (and the papaya salad). They have tom yum and tom ka, and some boring vegetable one. A decent selection of noodle & rice dishes, and probably most curious to me, a handful of seafood offerings. In particular, I have a feeling they have what might be my favorite thing to come out of a Thai restaurant (Dok Bua, Boston), and that is soft-shelled crab w/ curry sauce, although the curry sauce on this menu is described as red (or can have chili-garlic sauce), whereas the one I remember was not red, not panang, and not like anything else i've had really. They also have spicy catfish, whole flounder, shrimp/squid/mussels. I'm a little dissapointed there's no duck on the menu though.

Anyways, check it out for yourself, if you haven't already. They're in Cary/Raleigh.

Thai Villa
South Hills Shopping Mall
1319 Buck Jones Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27606

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