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Restaurants & Bars

Brief first take on Toi

Ben Goetter | Aug 5, 200105:25 PM     1

A quasi-Thai place has moved into the 4th Ave space formerly occupied by the Dahlia Lounge.

Funny place, closer to a stylish Pike/Pine bar than a Thai restaurant in ambience. They kept the Dahlia red walls, putting a long posing bar along one side of the space and a row of booths on the other. Projectors throw images high on the walls, and a THUMP-THUMP-THUMP pickup-scene music predominates (this was at Saturday 6pm). The space feels much more confined than it did in its Dahlia days.

The food, too, reminds me of a bar. We had two beautifully executed varieties of springroll: one rather Viet-style with vegetables, one fried Thai/Chinese/Malay-ish with seafood. This was followed by a very bland green papaya salad, and thereafter a shockingly underseasoned "dry" type curry. All dishes were adorned with fanciful names: Tiger's Paw, Enlightened Jungle Prince, etc. After I commented on the blandness of the food, the server hustled out some sri-racha sauce etc., apologizing that most of their clientele seemed to want it bland. The desserts are Asian-type desserts, a bit austere and not to my Euro all-the-fat-and-2ce-the-sugar taste, though a tea-flavored ice-cream did stand out.

The wine list was next to nonexistent. Server said that they do mostly a cocktail business, working from that showy bar.

I'll give it another try, as the appetizers were delightful. Maybe next time I should just get with the program and order a sidecar....

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