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SEA - Looking for good Thai if I can't go to Issaquah...

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  • Susansea Mar 26, 2004 01:27 AM
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I've seen lots of posts about Noodle Boat in Issaquah, but aren't there some good options for Thai food in Seattle proper? Buddha Ruksa & Chilies Paste have gotten some attention - are they the best? What about the restaurant in the Bangkok House space in the ID?

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  1. Krittika on Latona just a few doors south of 65th (near Greenlake) is my favorite. My favorite dish is the Spicy Noodles-wide rice noodles with chili sauce and vegetables. MOst Thai places have this on their menu (I forget the Thai name), and "vegetables" usually means onions and broccoli. At Krittika you get a perfectly cooked assortment of all kinds of veggies.

    I haven't been to Chilis but I am so underwhelmed by every other Thai place in Fremont/Wallingford/Ballard/Greenwood.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kiliki

      You've got to try Chilies Paste. Nobody goes there and I was wondering if the popular places in Fremont were even better. So, we decided to try the crowded one (I won't name it, but here's a hint-it's only three letters and if you put "alai" after it, you've got a Basque sport played with a hand basket and small rubber ball). Final analysis after trying a few staple dishes-way less than mediocre; will never go again.
      Actually, went to Chilies Paste yesterday and found a dish I thought was only so-so. That was the Mee Krob. But, you can't go wrong with the Tom Kah Kai, the Green Bean Spaghetti Curry, Phad Thai, etc...Give the place a try and write back.

    2. Have you tried Thai Dusit in the U-District (2510 NE Blakeley)? I wouldn't say it's the best Thai restaurant I've ever been to, but I've found it to be better than average (I went there frequently last year while going to school). Not everything there is great, but it is my #1 choice for peanut sauce (swimming angel) with better spices than other places (my next recommendation for swimming angel is Thai Kitchen on Mercer Island). The phad thai is pretty good at Thai Dusit, as is the curry (curry is not extremely spicy, but I do not request it to be so). The biggest disappointment to me is the phad khing (ginger) that is normally my favorite dish, but not here. It just seems too bland.

      In the ID I like Tropics (606 S. Weller St.), but I have not have not had the opportunity to try any other Thai places there. Tropics has a good menu selection, I like the phad khing (even though I don't think it's even on the menu), and desserts are great (try the black sticky rice with coconut milk).

      By the way, Thai Dusit can be pretty pricey unless you go at lunch time (11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri.).

      Link: http://www.thaidusit.net/

      1. Thai of Wedgwood gets my vote. Its (where else?) in the Wedgwood neighborhood of Seattle on 35th Avenue NE, just north of 75th Street. Flavorful, fairly inexpensive and fast. And they deliver.

        1 Reply
        1. re: AD

          I haven't tried Thai of Wedgwood, but Buddha Ruksa in West Seattle is fantastic!!

        2. this may not help, but I have found Royal Orchid on Rainier Ave in Renton (just past Renton AIrport) to be quite good. They have some really interesting chicken balls wrapped in Ti leaves and deep fried. They had a few dishes which were quite unique. Haven't been in while so this isn't the strongest reccomendation............Just come to Issaquah, we don't bite (hard)

          1 Reply
          1. re: Wanda2day

            I live 110 miles from Noodle Boat, but plan most of my Seattle trips to arrive in Issaquah at lunch time so I can visit my favorite place. However, if I am anywhere near the U district for lunch, I like to visit Mar Lai on Sandpoint. It is a very different experience from Noodle Boat, but I really enjoy the food.

          2. The U-district has a new Thai restaurant, that is wonderful. It's called "Thai 65" and is located between 42nd and 43rd on the Ave., east side of the street. I've had most of the lunch combos, and they do a uniformly great job with all. I've not had dinner there, but the lunches are enough to instill nothing but confidence.

            1. I spent a semester living in Chiang Mai in college and am very picky about Thai food. I haven't tried everywhere, of course, but here are favorites so far in Seattle, in no particular order (note: each place is a favorite for certain dishes - nowhere is perfect):

              * Racha in lower Queen Anne is the only place I've found that has proper pud gaprao gai (basil chicken) if you ask for it Thai style (with ground chicken). Better yet, ask for a fried egg on top "kai dao". Better still, go for Thai karaoke after 11pm on Friday and Saturday and become educated in the fabulous world of Thai pop music. There's a special menu. Plus, everything else I’ve had at Racha has been tasty. Really nice staff too.

              * Super Bowl Noodle House in Roosevelt/Ravenna has some good items - I like their kao mun gai a lot (Northern Thai dish of rice cooked in broth and steamed with thin slices of chicken, then served with sliced cucumber, a ginger-garlic sauce, cilantro, and a mild soup on the side. Simple and delicious.)

              * Thaiku in Ballard impressed me. Some hard to find dishes there – kanom chine (spelled various ways) is a noodle dish that’s hard to find. Try their som tam (papaya salad) with sticky rice and ask for it hot “Thai style” if you’d like the deliciously painful experience of your head falling off.

              * Bai Tong down near the airport. Consistently great Thai food. They make great tod mun bla (deep fried fish cakes with sweet-sour dipping sauce).

              * I like the tom yum at Sea Thai in Wallingford. Their tom yum when I’m sick (extra spicy) makes me healthy. Plus it’s delicious. They also get some great specials there – they once had a sweetened sticky rice with beans roasted in bamboo treat (kao lam) that’s impossible to find in America.

              * There’s a place far north on 15th Ave NE (around 135th street???) that had a great pud woon sen (stir fried very thin rice noodles) but I haven’t been there in about two years.

              * I like the curry noodle soup at Mae Phim, downtown, and the staff are really nice.

              * Cilantro downtown – I’ve had better experiences at dinner than lunch, but the dinner there was great. And their fried rice is more authentic than most around here; very tasty.

              * Royal Palm in Roosevelt/Ravenna (nearly across the street from Super Bowl) has some really nice dishes – I like their noodle dishes a lot, especially Rad Na.

              * What I *haven’t* found yet:
              - Really good kao soi (northern Thai noodle soup) though I hear Noodle Boat has this. I must make it out to Issaquah!!
              - A perfect bowl of kwetiao nam (noodles in broth)
              - Gai yang – northern Thai barbequed chicken done well enough to taste like what they sold on the street at the market. That with some som tam and sticky rice and life is good...
              (Apparently Pok Pok Thai down in Portland specializes in Northern Thai food and is good, so I’ll be checking that out next time I’m there and will report back)

              Any suggestions on those?

              1 Reply
              1. re: seattledebs

                This is one of the most informative (and mouthwatering!) posts I've read in a long time.

                Thanks!

              2. Nobody has mentioned Tup Tim Thai in Lower Queen Anne. It's always been my favorite. Of course, the phad thai is good, but so is the peanut sauce (is there bad peanut sauce?), spring rolls, and panang curry.

                At 9 in the morning my mouth is watering over thai food. ymmmmm.

                2 Replies
                1. re: hungrymom

                  To quote my Thai friend Phueng, "Hmm. What's peanut sauce?"

                  1. re: seattledebs

                    Two thoughts here:

                    1) Even within countries food can be regional. Just because you can't find much in the way of grits and okra in Seattle doesn't mean they aren't "American". Granted, I've never been to Thailand, so it may very well be that they don't have peanut sauce anywhere there. But, I know whenever I go to Norway to visit family they all puzzle over "uff-da" and lutefisk. But, here in America those are both seen as Norwegian things.

                    2) Just as quesadillas are not authentic Mexican, you can find them everywhere and quite frankly, I'm glad they exist. I had an excellent one the other night with smoked gouda and jack and pepperjack cheese served with a roasted pepper salsa that was out of this world.

                    I will continue to make and enjoy both peanut sauce and quesadillas, thank you very much. But, please, no lutefisk! :-)

                2. I haven't tried any you've mentioned but will recommend Typhoon on Western Ave near the Pike Place hillclimb. They also have a location in Redmond in the Bella Bottega strip mall. I love their curries and crab phad thai.

                  1. Two to avoid like the plague are Bai Pai (2316 NE 65th) in Ravenna and Lotus in Wallingford.

                    1. Thia Dusit is now closed.

                      1. In the south end, try Teak House in Normandy Park. Their Mussamun Curry Beef is to die for! Beats Bai Tong over by the airport all to heck, IMHO.

                        1. I really like Racha on lower QA. One thing I've noticed in most of the Thai restaurants in Seattle is that the Pad thai is overly sweet & ketchupy tasting.

                          Has anyone been to May? I have been meaning to try it.