HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >

Discussion

New Thai Pittsburgh

If you're a fan of Thai food, do yourself a favor head to Bryant St. in Highland Park and give Smiling Banana Leaf a try. The modest sized seating area is tastfully decorated and there's plenty of tables on the sidewalk. We've been twice within past few weeks, once for dinner once for lunch, and we were suitably impressed with both experiences.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Thanks for the recommendation. We really enjoy Thai food and the more options the better. Know of anywhere to find a menu with prices?

    Also is it a BYO? that is a bonus as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Mr Siegal

      I recall the menu listing a website but it must not be up and running yet. The prices are reasonable and I feel certain it would be BYOB

    2. My absolute favorite Thai restuarant is "Thai Cusine" in Bloomfield. Is it better than this one?

      1 Reply
      1. re: kate137

        haven't been there in over a year so better not comment. better than Bangkok Balcony of late. we also like Green Mango Regent Sq. and Nikki's in Verona.
        I would certainly recommend your giving SBL a try.

      2. I agree - we've only been to Smiling Banana Leaf once, but we were thoroughly impressed with the experience and hope to go again soon. And they are BYOB, by the way. It's great to see a small local business doing well, so I hope people keep going there!

        1. I'd like to echo the positive sentiments. My overall experience there was great. The service was affable, and the food was above average, especially for an Asian restaurant in Pittsburgh. The decor was cosy, and the prices were very reasonable as well.

          Of the pad thai, wild shrimp curry, and chow curry we ordered, the latter stood out as flavorful and satisfying.

          The only glitch of the evening was a forgotten appetizer order. Otherwise, I can't wait to explore the menu further.

          1. I wanted to echo the sentiments. I think I've been to pretty much every Thai place in Pittsburgh and the surround areas (Thai Cuisine, Thai Me Up, Spice Island, Thai TYK, etc. etc.) and I have to rank this in the top 3. The waiter was extremely knowledgeable and kind, the food was extremely fresh and delicious, and most of all, they know how to make it SPICY. I asked for a 7 when I ordered and he laughed. He said, "I'll bring you a 3". It was perfect. The heat didn't stand out and was melded into the dish (simple Pad See Ew with chicken) exquisitely. Their Thom Kha is the smoothest I've ever had it, with some of the freshest vegetables inside. Also, you'd never know it from the outside, but the decor is extremely calm and relaxing. A beautiful place and second only to Thai TYK in Rankin, if only for the personalized attention.

            1. I must say, I was welcomed with rich aromas dancing in the air; the hints of spice and fresh nuances enveloped me as I crossed the threshold of this newly-wide-eyed-surprise of a space. My focus darting to and fro, I enjoyed the savvy pistachio splashed walls and was greeted with a smiling floating white petaled bud in the center of our table... I sat with a child-like excitement. As the pleasant hipster hostess sat us down with our menus.
              Glancing upon menu we decided to share the Tofu Paradise!! (A must have btw), with entrees ranging from the Tofu Pineapple fried rice, Pineapple Curry, and Kao Soy.... and let me tell you it was an amazing ride of flavors, textures and colors!!! It was sooo good I wanted to call my mother and tell her to slap herself silly!!!!
              I highly recommend this place for anyone who wants escape from the chaos of the city to relax both in spirit and in cuisine. Go on out and see it for yourself... It is small and quaint but that makes it all the better.
              Dine with laughter...
              sincerely posh,
              flavoraddict

              1. I have to agree with all of the positive reviews. The food is delicious and they use the freshest ingredients. Every curry I've tried has been wonderful and the Tofu Paradise is always a must order.

                1. Can somebody explain to me this 1 - 10 thing at Thai restaurants in the 'burgh. I was never confronted with this question in more than a decade in D.C., but this seems to be a standard practice at several Thai/Asian restaurants here. Anybody have any insight?

                  I ask because, from my point of view, a dish is intended to be spicy or not spicy, not some sliding scale for each and every dish. I guess it's intended to please the customer, but it almost seems like the restaurant is copping out. It's not like it's a terrible thing, I just hadn't experienced it before until we moved back here a few years ago.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Whigsboy

                    From my experience a lot of the people I know really can't handle a hot dish and would likely send it back/not eat it/not go back if the dish that is supposed to be hot couldn't be made mild. Eaves drop a little next time you're in an asian place around here, lots of people order a 5 or less.