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Mai Thai - West Columbia, SC

This place has opened in West Columbia in the space where another Thai place was that didn't last very long ... can't think of the name. Has anyone tried this spot?

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  1. Very good. Definitely worth a visit.

    1. Are you talking about Thia Dish that closed? Little shopping area near the Lexington Hospital on Hwy 378?

      1 Reply
      1. re: SweetPea

        Yes, the place that used to be Thai Dish. Their menu is online - just wondering if anyone had checked it out.

      2. I randomly happened to eat there this past week when I was in Real Estate School just up the road. I was not impressed but then again I get spoiled by the Thai place in Elloree. It was good but fairly typical.

        4 Replies
        1. re: GrillMaster

          We ate their last week after Free Times new food critic gave it a good review. I thought it was fantastic and rivaled the Thai joints I frequented in Austin Texas. I had chicken panang and my date had green curry beef. I loved the heart shaped rice and the delicious sauces.
          I often bemoan the lack of authenticity here in Columbia as compared to a more cosmopolitan area but having check out this Thai place and Viet Pho I am one happy Columbian

          1. re: artrue

            Have you tried Thai Lotus, on St. Andrews Road? In my view it has the best Thai food in the area, though I haven't tried Mai Thai yet.

            1. re: north2south

              Yes, we are regulars there. I love it, but have you noticed they are now limiting diners to one cup of rice per meal, with a $2.00 charge for more? Not sure if that's the same with the buffet or not now. I'm always looking for more good thai around here. The place that Mai Thai replaced was pretty mediocre on a good day.

              1. re: atruebluedevil

                Recommend you to try Mai Thai. We tried it last weekend . We thought their food was superb! and also servers are so friendly .It became our favorite thai restaurant in town.

        2. Tried it last night after checking out the menu online. http://www.maithais.com/main.html?src... Everything I had was quite good. Soft shell crab appetizer, duck in ginger sauce, and banana roll. They've got some house-made coconut ice cream that's killer, too. The food presentation was lovely, the decor is most pleasant and the ladies serving the room could not have been more accommodating and gracious. Check it out when you can.

          1. I took some food to go the other night. The decor is pleasant -- understated contemporary Thai restaurant design. The folks working there were quite nice. I thought the food was alright, and worth trying a couple of times more before making a final judgment. The spring roll wrappers were a bit too thick and doughy for my tastes. The pad thai was good. The drunken noodles were ok, but I prefer the version at Thai Lotus. The Ginger Lover chicken was quite good -- it had a subtle sauce spiked with matchsticks of ginger. I'm interested in trying other dishes there.

            2 Replies
            1. re: north2south

              I thought their spring rolls were really good. They were crispy and not oily like other restaurants. I recommend you to try the coconut soup. It is outstanding.

              1. re: jack_a

                The larb is also amazing. The staff laughs at me because I order it without lettuce, but...

            2. I have heard several comments regarding Thai Lotus being better than Mai Thia. I strongly disagree. The issue here is consistency. Thai Lotus is very hit and miss. More miss than Hit. Here are some reasons why I like Mai Thai better. The vegetables always cooked to perfection. Not over cooked like so many Asian restaurants in this city. They take pride in presentation. They now a lot about quality and portion control. I always feel content and not bloated when I leave. Another feecher is the staff welcoming us with a smile and some small chit chat that makes you fell they are interested in your comfort and well being. We are missing this through out all restaurants. Many times when I have eaten at Thai Lotus I feel like I am bothering them just for walking through the door. Some of you will say , well He must had one bad experience. This is not the case. For a while they were the only place I could get Green Curry close to my house and work. I have been in there many times. We have eaten the Sunday "COLD" Buffet. I am so tired of poor service, poor food, poor atmosphere. I am glad that MAI THIA cares enough about its customers. I am glad that they are taking a risk in West Columbia. I am glad they went in and update a place that was shabby and run down. My only fear is they grow to fast, and not able to keep up with growth.

              I love Mai Thai's green curry. The texture is perfect and smooth. Almost like a heavy cream texture. You can really taste the Kiffer Leaves and the chilies. This comes with balance of Coconut milk and Green Curry paste. The vegetable are always crunchy but not raw. The meat is tender and not dry and over cooked. I also like the classical music they play. It just relaxes you and is nutrial. Some Asian Music is High pitched and almost winey. This is not a slam on Asian Music, but I think sometimes distracting when trying to relax an enjoy your meal.
              Mai Thia is a great place overall. I have not gotten anything to-go. Do not know how the to-go is compared to the eat in.
              Another great place on the other side of town is Bankock. This is a hole in the wall, but very good. Do not be turned off y where it is located and the decor. Its worth it.
              Chow

              5 Replies
              1. re: QueazonJin

                QueazonJin, I agree with you that Mai Thai presents an overall nicer restaurant experience than Thai Lotus, for many of the reasons you state. I find myself visiting both places. However, I do believe that some of the dishes (not all of them) are better at Thai Lotus, and I stand by my earlier judgment of the weird doughiness of Mai Thai's spring rolls. Where exactly is "Bankock"? I would like to try it.

                1. re: north2south

                  Bangkok Thai Restaurant is on Garner's Ferry towards Sumter in the strip mall that is beside the Sears. Best authentic Thai in town. None of that Baan Sawaan crap.

                  1. re: butidigest

                    Just visiting Columbia and was taken to Bangkok Restaurant (7509-H Garners Ferry Road - East Pointe Plaza) and it was astoundingly good. Decor is nothing to speak of, but the food is great. We had Tom Ka Gai (S4 on the menu), a soup with chicken in coconut milk with lemon grass and lime juice (rice comes with and serves as a base for the soup if you want a fuller meal and you can request tofu in the soup as well). Flavors are so clean and new - large order for $9.95 served 3 of us with at least two helpings each.
                    Do not miss the chef's special appetizer CS4 - Garlic Tofu: crispy chunks of tofu crusted with toasted garlic to be eaten with lettuce and pieces of tomato -- this is an addictive dish! Gang Garee (C3) is another bright flavored dish with your choice of meat (chicken is best with this) in red curry, coconut milk, and potatoes (ask for tofu in this as well).
                    Pad Prik King (C9) done with beef is also a nice combination of flavors: stir-fried in red curry paste with green beans.
                    Three of us ate all the above (with leftovers of Pad Prik and Gang Garee to take home) for $40 plus tax and tip.
                    Everything we ate tasted different and unlike any other Thai restaurant we have ever tried. Wish this place would move up to Chicago area where we live. If you like real Thai food, this is a great place to eat!

                    1. re: butidigest

                      I look forward to trying Mai Thai.

                      I'd like to comment about Bangkok. About a year and a half ago, I have this place 2 chances. I tried two different dishes (on 2 different occasions) and they were both horrible examples of thai food (Green Curry and Pad Se Ew -- both with tofu). To me, the prices at Bangkok are not at all justified by the food I was served -- Just very disappointing. The food was edible (although not enjoyable), and the prices were better than other Thai restaurants in town, but I'd much rather spend $2.00 more and eat at Thai Lotus. Better yet, I'd rather drive 100 miles to some decent Thai restaurants in Spartanburg (IMHO, the only thing that city has going for it is 3 outstanding Thai restaurants). Hopefully the food at Bangkok has improved. I may give them one more chance.

                      1. re: jlb123

                        When you go back to Bangkok, ask them not to put tofu into your dishes if you do not like it - they will oblige. But do try the Garlic Tofu if you like garlic and crunchy appetizers (wrap in lettuce leaves if you want to soften the garlic flavor.