Good Thai Food in Providence, RI
I moved from Boston- which had a wealth of great thai places. I've tried a couple here in Providence and none of them have been worth mentioning but I'm dying for some great pad thai and red curry!
It would help if you told us where you had been. My favorite is Sawaddee on Hope Street. Smaller portions, but the flavors are fantastic. I also like Thai Star on Chalkstone in Smith Hill. Co-workers from Thailand tend to prefer ordering off of Thai Star's "authentic" menu.
For Pad Thai in particular, Mekong on Smith Street in Smith Hill has great crispy pad thai and Siam Square in Riverside, RI probably has the best regular pad thai in the area.
There's a new place that just opened up between Brook and Hope (I think) on Waterman Street that I have not yet been tried.
It is just over the city line by a couple of miles, but try Rim Nahm on Broad Street in Pawtuxet Village. The food is carefully prepared and I've found it to be more satisfying and fresh tasting than Sawaddee and Thai Star. I've yet to try the pad thai or red curry, but the mango curry was excellent and the tom yum soup had a depth of flavor and spice(hotness) that is missing at most other places I've tried.
Apsara on Elmwood Ave in South Providence is truly awesome. It's what I think of when I think of Thai food in Providence. The curries are addictive. The soups are the greatest. I don't think I've ever had the Pad Thai, but I can only assume they have the staples covered.
Plus they have Cambodian favorites, like Nim Chow.
Apsara on Elmwood Ave is not to be confused with the Apsara on Hope Street on the East Side, which I've never been to and to my knowledge is in no way connected.
Hey Tomatosoup, I am curious what else you tried in Providence that you were not happy with because if you think there's a better restaurant than Apsara (Public St just east of Elmwood Ave) in Boston I want to know about it!
BTW, Apsara on Hope St is OK but not worth going out of your way for...
Brown Sugar in Boston is some of the best thai food I've ever had (the one in the Fenway) it's just great, great food. I've tried Aspara on Hope St. and liked it. I had the pineapple fried rice and found it really different- a cambodian flair i guess that I took to. not the greatest but still decent for a quick fix. i also tried the thai place on wickenden (and im sure there is more than one but i can't remember the name) that was up a block and across the street from fellini and was NOT impressed at all!
the Thai place on Wickenden is O-Cha and I second the emotion about not being impressed!
Another place to try is Pakarang, on S. Main Street. I've only been there a couple of times, but I have liked their dishes as compared with Sawadee, the pad thai esp.--it has less of an overwhelming fish sauce taste. It's also pretty spacious and not BYOB.
I would also second the recommendation for the Apsara on Public Street (also one of the few places to get Vietnamese food around here). The local legend I heard about Apsara on Hope was that the daughter of the family who runs the original Apsara broke away to start her own, and the family was pretty mad about it. A couple of years ago they actually had little signs up all over the restaurant saying, "Apsara II is in NO WAY related to us."