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Thai by Thai and Lao by Lao!

  • s

Hey guys, I was inspired by the topic Japanese by Japanese. I know that Lao and Thai food are similar so places that do Lao as well as Thai are probably Lao-run. That's fine with me.

It occurred to me that I condemned Thai food in Toronto based on a few bad and untasty experiences. This is a big city, the good stuff should exist somewhere.

Where, do you know?

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  1. Thai Plate is owned and operated by Thais. The cooking cannot be authentic- 95% of Canadian customers would not be able to eat it- but they do a very good job creating Thai character and flavour. Particularly recommended is the Monday lunch buffet which is promotional ($8.95, a $25 meal). A good adventure at minimal expense. The o/os had uppermiddle class careers in Thailand and have a good aesthetic. No MSG, house made sauces.

    3434 Bathurst St at Ranee, ample free parking, in the Entertainment book

    1. I'd like to try the stuff most people don't like..

      where in the city is there authentic Thai?!?


      2 Replies
      1. re: wjb

        Call them and ask them if they will make what you want. Failing this, ask them if you can join them as a paying guest for supper as they finish up, about 9.30, you have what they have.

        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

          You have hit on a point that extremely few people know about, yes I have often joined Chinese owner/friends on a real meal and the sight, feeling and food are 100% different. Never thought of asking to be an invited/paying guest, but yes that is terrific. Turned down so many invitations, respectfully, but yes, after decades of friendship, I can see that your proposal to an initiate is outstanding!!!!!!

      2. Vanipha Lanna on St Clair W is owned and run by Vanipha Southalack is from Laos. Young Thailand was started by and (I think) is still owned by Wandee Young from Thailand. That said I am not sure that the same nationality owning a restaurant as the type of cuisine is a guarantee of quality. Linda and Salad King are own by the Liu's. I don't know from where they are originally.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mikeb

          Vanipha Lanna was fabulous the last time I went.

          1. re: somechick

            agreed, went to Vanipha Lanna this past wednesday, I had the duck stirfry and it was incredibly good. my SO had the Ping Gai, that was great too... very friendly in there!

            1. re: mgs

              Hmm... if it weren't the fact that you went on Wednesday, I'd say you were my dining companion. I went on Saturday, I got the Ping Gai, another got the Duck and the last got a vegetarian item (the name eludes me). We also shared the 6 piece appetizer plate. Pretty good, I enjoyed the stick rice.

        2. I agree that the same nationality is not a guarantee of good quality, but at least it might be a guarantee of authenticity. Salad King is not authentic (in my opinion) and is party to most of my bad experiences.

          1. Salad King is run by Chinese-speaking people, but they could originally be from Thailand, for all I know. (Many Vietmanese restaurents are run by Chinese who came from Vietnam.) The one that I know is run by authentic Thai is Pi-Tom at College and Alexander - a friend used to date the owner. Spice Thai on Queens Quay is also run by Thais, but their food is only OK, not great.

            1. Well the Bay on Queen did a Thai promotion last summer and restaurants came and gave out free samples and did cooking demos. I went EVERY DAY for the full two weeks. So I tried a lot of Thai food from many different restaurants in a short period of time. Based on this, Yonge Thailand is the best. I tried 4-5 different mango salads, theirs is the best, by far. Their Pad Thai was also slighty better than the other places. The owner was also very nice and she did the cooking demos herself.

              1. I remembered that all restaurants participated in the Tastes of Thailand Festival is owned/operated by Thai people except Vannipha which is of course "Lao by Lao"

                Some examples of Thai by Thai are,

                Young Thailand
                The One Thai
                Buppha Thai
                Thai Bangkok
                Coco Rice

                and a few others I can't quite remember the name

                1. I vouch for JOY THAI! They are a Thai run small restaurant, On Yonge Street North of Lawrence on the West side. They have been mentioned dozens of times on this board. There isnt much for ambience, but the foods are amazing and fresh. Alot of takeout customers at this place.

                  1. I lived in Bangkok for 4 years and am extremely picky about Thai food in Toronto to the extent that I usually avoid it at restaurants and just make it myself. I always enjoyed Young Thailand, but I think the location off Queen is closed right now (?) and the one up on Davisville is now Pi Tom's (ok, but not stellar). Have not tried Vanipha, but have been meaning too as I love Isaan food which is the most similar to Lao. The Queen Mother has a couple of excellent Thai dishes at the back of their menu - I always have their Khao Soy Gai and it is VERY authentic. Would love to know of somewhere that regularly has Som Tam on the menu (green papaya salad). My favourite Thai dish, but so hard to find on a menu! Also, Sai Oua (northern sausage).

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: midtowngirl

                      In response to the few mentions of Young Thai on John (near Queen) ... it is very closed right now. Doesn't even look like repairs are going down.

                      1. re: midtowngirl

                        We ate at Vanipha this evening, we had absolutely appalling service which started before we even sat down (left standing at the door with a disabled person for 10 minutes). Had to flag server down to order drinks, waited 15 minutes for them to be delivered. Waited at least 1/2 an hour for the two appetizers to arrive. A further wait of 20 minutes for the soups to arrive, then another 20 minutes for the main courses to arrive. The food was only just above average. Not worth the 45 minute drive.