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New Latitude Eight Thai Grill in Chandler

There's a hip little gourmet-ish Asian restaurant in historic downtown Chandler that opened recently. Tried it last night and although our Musamman Short Rib ($16) needed more cooking time, the flavors were great and the presentation was upscale. We were happy overall with our meal. The Tom Kah soup broth was poured over the ingredients at the table which was fun and different from our typical Thai stops (Swaddee, Thai House, etc.). The yellow chicken curry ($11) was served on a deep plate and had a wonderful aroma and flavor. From what we could gather, the place is owned by a mom/son team. The son, David, was very friendly and talkative w/o being over-talkative. It's a 30 minute drive from our northeast Mesa house, but if Latitude Eight were in my hood I'd probably be there once a week. It's BYOB right now but they're working on a liquor license.

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  1. Been meaning to try this place ever since we walked by the store last week on our way to 98 Wine. By any chance did you notice the stuff chicken wing? Just curious if its comparable to LOS in Vegas. Will head there tonight.

    1. I cannot wait to give place a try. Driving by, the atmosphere looks great and the menu reads well.

      Latitude 8 Thai Grill
      11 W Boston St, Chandler, AZ 85225

      1. We stopped by today and they were closed :-( but the owner was there and was very nice. She said they opened soft but business has been good. One complaint is it was kind of hard to find, the address says Boston St but they face Arizona Ave? We drove around the parking lot and finally had to ask someone. The lunch menu was in the window but we didn't see the dinner menu. Looking forward to visiting later this week!

        1. Thanks for the review! Hubby and the baby and I visited Latitude 8 a little after they opened for the tasting menu. We had it at lunch - not sure if they would have it for dinner?
          Hubby and I got all diff. things. I loved his spicy papaya salad more than I loved my spicy fruit salad, which was still good. I had the panang and Hubby had the pad thai. The pad thai looked very "light" but had a wonderful sweet/sour counterpart taste. Hubby also loved the banana basil dessert. It sounded kind of strange to me but it was actually very good, as was my mango sticky rice. Everything is pretty spicy - they didn't ask us for a preferred "spice level." They were still very much "in progress" but it looks like a wonderful addition to downtown Chandler's dining scene.

          1. We were at the public Transportation meeting for the city tonight so decided to head across the street from the library and try this new place out.

            We were shocked to find a wait when we walked in at 7:30 on a Wed night. Brand new place in the middle of summer!

            Anyway, David, the owner, had a couple high tables that were empty and we asked if we could sit at one of them...he said he hadn't decided what to do with them yet but sure if we didn't mind. We were quickly offered water or iced tea...as mentioned the it's BYOB here, which everyone seemed to know about as we saw wine on most of the tables. Not sure if they have sodas...probably.

            We ordered the papaya salad, the spicy eggplant stir fry and the steak pad mee kao. The salad was very tasty and we loved the two grilled jumbo prawns that came with it. The spicy eggplant stiry fry wasn't very spicy but had lots of good flavor...generous amounts of fried tofu, eggplant, and pumpkin. We didn't care for the pumpkin at all - it seemd undercooked and the flavor didn't add anything to the dish but rather took away...we left most of the pumpkin. This dish was accompanied by a small amount of rice. The steak pad mee kao was also good. I liked that it wasn't overly greasy. the flank steak was tender and flavorful...and a perfect medium rare. the only negative comment I really had on this was that for an asian noodle dish the portion seemed small. there was plenty of steak though and it's just that so many places bulk up their noodles dishes. It was actually plenty of food just smaller than normal and might disappoint some people in that regard.

            The bill was $37 which is a bit more than a hole in the wall place but this isn't hole in the wall. The decor is very nice - hip and upscale. Lots of white. They seemed very overwhelmed by how busy it was tonight and commented on it a couple times while we were chatting with them. it seems they were anticipating a slow summer to work out the kinks and have been caught off guard. We did have some glitches in our meal(our got lost in the POS system) but nothing that can't be ironed out.

            I'd probably avoid trying this on a Friday or Saturday night for now. I also don't think I'd drive across town to try it but it is a great addition to the downtown Chandler assortment of restaurants. I hope they get all their kinks worked out and have lots of success. They seem like really good people.

            1. Finally made it in tonight, it was packed. We got seated next to a "wine club" which seemed to consist of a bunch of wine snobs. We had to wait a few minutes to be seated, but it was worth it. We brought a bottle in and were surprised to see bottles on just about every table.

              Started with a stuffed chicken wing with was soooo good. It was a very large leg/wing which was de-boned, lightly battered and fried. It was filled with something called glass noodles, minced chicken and herbs - I'm not sure what the sauce was but it was a spicey/mayonaissey sauce which was great. The "snobs" had the a big mussel dish so we added it and it was great. Not your usual PEI's - it was a wine/lemongrass/sweet broth that was great with some kind of green herb over the top.

              We weren't finished with our PEI's when our entree's came out but I really can't fault them, we added the mussels after our entire order was in. When we asked for recommendations they didn't really steer us to the expensive stuff - but the noodles since they wanted to show us how the food was different, so my GF got the Pad Thai with chicken and shrimp, I still went for the Halibut. Both were excellent. The shrimp came out on skewers, perfectly grilled. The Halibut was perfectly cooked, flakey with a sweet and spicey reduction sauce on top. I asked our server what it was and she said it was a traditional 3-flavored fish sauce common for fish. Whatever it was, it was great. The Pad Thai was also very well balanced, I'm used to it more spicey though.

              The wait for desert was probably too long, we had finished for 5 minutes before she asked for a desert order and the desert took about 10 minutes to wait. Not a huge deal and it was really busy for a summer Wednesday night - so we'll forgive them. I think the server and owner were the only two people on the floor all night. They seemed to have a lot of regulars in and the owner did stop by once to ask how everything was and another time to fill our waters.

              It reminded me of Thai food in Seattle, so much different that Thai in AZ so I really hope people get it. I miss all the amazing upscale Thai and Vietnamese places up north and its nice to see some popping up in the valley. I'm taking my husband on Friday, I just hope they have more servers! :-)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Maggie Kramer

                Got back on Saturday night and it was fun. There was a wait for a table so we went to a new brewery across the parking lot and the entire downtown Chandler was packed. Wait was only about 20 minutes - they held our wine while we were gone. The waitress said the BYO wasn't much longer but didn't have a time frame.

                Anyway food was great, we had a special Yellow Curry Crabcake which was really good for the price (3 for $9?) and split a coconut soup and they were excellent. My hubby had a spicey noodle dish with a nice piece of steak over the top and I just had a fresh fruit salad. His was spicier than he expected, not super hot but hot for him. My salad was wonderful.

                It was fun, I talked to a pretty older lady (the same person I met, owner?) and she said business has been good. She was sweet but wasn't 100% clear when the BYO would end either. We noticed a lot of other upscalish Asain diners that night, I'm from India and we noticed a couple other ex-pats, we even know one couple - pretty funny.

                Anyway, very nice place. We ran out of wine so went back to the brewery after, was really fun!

              2. My wife and I stopped by for lunch recently. What a deal -- three courses for $11. We also had the satay (excellent) and the fish cakes (best we've had -- tender and flavorful). My panang had a wonderful flavor and texture, though it would have been better with a protein other than beef, which was tough. We will definitely go back often. Can't wait to try the seafood green curry, sadly not available for lunch.

                1. L8 update after a quick lunch visit today: 1.) They still rock 2.) They are now serving beer and wine. They have a couple drafts from San Tan Brewery, as well as some Asian and Hawaiian bottled beers. I didn't get a chance to see the wine list, but there is one, and starting this weekend they will be serving cocktails, including an awesome mojito, according to my server. They also added a couple entrees and appetizers that are not on the current online menu.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: yamalam

                    No cocktails this weekend yet. :-( But there was a 45 minute wait so we went next door to "Urban Tea Loft" and had a tea martini while we waited. :-) They had a full bar of liquor but said the cocktails were delayed until next week due to the bartender not showing up.

                    Read the Republic article and saw the Channel 3 segment so we decided to hop back over on Friday. The wait was too long so we went back Saturday. Wait was 45 minutes, we were headed to 98 South to grab a drink but there was a band playing at Urban Tea so we stopped in, nice little tea joint. They ended up getting us a table in about 25-30 minutes.

                    Based on the Republic and Hombre's reco - we had the fish cakes and yes they were plump and tasty. The review said these are the fishcakes by which all future fishcakes will be judged, LOL. They were out of squid (and Ahi) so I didn't get to try the S&P Squid, went with the duck salad - can you say YUM! We had a Reisling which was really nice - we weren't too daring so we had the Panang and Pineapple Fried Rice. We mentioned to the server that the review said the only complaint was the beef was a little tough, she said they converted all the beef to flank steak - and it was awesome. The PFR was also awesome, I wasn't expecting it but there was a slight curry flavor. I grew up with Indian food and I love curry, it was a great surprise.

                    The keg on the Santan Hefe ran dry just before we got there so the hubby had a Thai beer and I had a Reisling. He's not very adventurous with food, it took me 5 years to get him to like Indian and now he loves Thai food, yay!

                    They said they've pretty much been full since Wednesday night and they take reservations - 2 and above which is cool. We're going back this week try the cocktails.

                    Still looking for a great Vietnamese place (upscale, top notch ingredients) - if anyone knows of any - I've tried about 6 or more - please LMK!

                    1. re: Maggie Kramer

                      We were out shopping and started to go here Friday night but decided against it given all the publicity they've had and the segment on Channel 3 that morning. They were overwhelmed the one time we were there and the owner mentioned this to us himself a couple times...how are they handling all the business coming their way from all these recent reviews?

                      Good to know they will take a reservation for a two top...would like to explore more of the menu(they were out of several of the seafood dishes the night we went). Will probably wait a month or so before trying at dinner again but looking forward to trying more items.

                      1. re: ziggylu

                        Hi ziggy, the service was good on Saturday. Much better than the last two times. I agree about the reservations for two people!

                        yamalam - off the top of my head - Anise, Cyclo, Pho A Sen (sp?), Da Vang - a couple more, one in LeeLee's. Didn't like Anise, Cyclo was good until the health inspection, Pho A Sen was nice but no liquor (good for lunch), I didn't really like Da Vang and the one in LeeLee's was terrible. I recently heard of one across from LeeLee's (not Anise) that is supposed to be higher quality so I might try to hit it this weekend.

                        I'm hungry now, time to find some lunch. :-)

                      2. re: Maggie Kramer

                        Which Vietnamese places have you tried?