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[HOU] Thai Lanna in Timbergrove

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This place used to be called Vung Thai, then it was sold, and went downhill, so the original chef/owner bought it back and renamed it. When it was Vung Thai, it was not a very attractive place, good food but nothing special. It is now an really classy little place with Seamist green tablecloths, under glass, and nicely folded napkins standing up on the table. The walls are a rose type color, and has nice art and special touches that make it a very nice atmosphere. It is a BYOB place.

I went with cheflambo, and we enjoyed it so much that I referred a friend who works nearby and she just called to rave about the place. She eats lunch with a woman who cannot be pleased, yet this woman liked it all.

We started with the Siamese egg rolls, full of fresh vegetables and glass noodles, lightly fried and crisp. We also got the Cheese rolls, which were cream cheese, mixed with green onion, carrots and celery, also lightly fried and crisp. Both were served with a sweet and sour sauce. They are cigar size and not greasy. My friend (that went for lunch the next day) said they got the thai dumplings and they were the best dumplings she has ever had. She is a real foodie, and eats out a lot, so I trust her judgment. She also shared a glass noodle salad that she really enjoyed. The appetizers were so good, and now that I am studying the take out menu I brought home, I think I want to try them all.

I got the Prix King with chicken, and it was delicious. In investigating exactly what that is I found out it is spelled differently depending on the restaurant, or perhaps the region of Thailand. It is also know as "prik khing curry" and translated to chili ginger. Whatever it was, it had a nice bite to it, but not so spicy that I couldn't handle it. It came with a bowl of sticky rice, which I mixed a bit of into the dish. The green beans were very crisp. When I reheated it, the beans were softer (of course) but the flavor was still very good, maybe even a bit better.

Cheflambo ordered the Fried Fish Salad, which looked so good. Very colorful with lemon grass, red onions, green onions and other salad ingredients served with a special lime sauce. I am still learning about fish (yes, I have a bit of a seafood phobia) so I asked for a bite of her fish salad. It was a mild fish, lightly breaded and very good. I need to find out exactly what type of fish it was.

They offer your curries, pad thai, basil beef, pad see ew, and all the familiars, but Chef Kim takes a lot of pride in her food so it is top notch. There are so many other things on the menu I want to try, so I am sure I will be going back time and time again. There is a 2 hour break between lunch and dinner, so it goes as follows: M-F lunch 11-3, dinner 5-9:30. Sat. lunch 12-3, dinner 5-9:30.

Oh, and my friend had the mango and sweet rice dessert and said it was very good, and perfectly presented. Looking at this place from the outside you would never expect such flair, great food, or beautiful decor, but you get all that and it's pretty darn cheap.

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  1. I concur -- this hidden gem is a real bargain. We had 2 apps, 2 entrees and all the iced tea we could drink, and the bill (with a 20% gratuity to our friendly and attentive server) was $30. So glad to have this place (back) in our neighborhood!

    Danhole - we need to encourage Pim to put up a website.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Cheflambo

      Not sure if you guy's know the answer to this, but do they use chicken stock in all their meals, including vegetarian dishes? Since moving here, my wife (who's a vegetarian for religious reasons) and I have been dismayed that we cannot go to Telephone Thai or the other best Thai places because they use chicken stock in everything.

      1. re: sethnavajo

        I sure don't know, but you could call and ask Chef Pim. I'm sure she would be glad to tell you. They have a variety on the vegetarian menu. They also have salads. Only one is without meat (Yum Apple), but I'm sure you could get one of the other salads without meat. The Papaya salad doesn't have meat, but it does have fish sauce.

        1. re: danhole

          Thanks for the reply. Your post made me very hungry.

    2. Cross referencing another post I have a question for you Houston CH'ers

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/463757

      Vieng Thai is that the same as Vung Thai (aka Thai Lanna

      )

      How does Thai Lanna compare to V's Thai on Dairy Ashford/Westheimer. My brother lives in the Galleria area so I would like something close and I noticed that Thai Lanna is fairly close. Then again I always make a trip to Phoenicia to pick up spices.

      I am coming to Houston Sept 20-21 and trying to find some great places to eat!

      1 Reply
      1. re: LewisvilleHounder

        No it is not the same as Vieng Thai (on Long Point, I think). I have no idea how V's Thai is. This, Thai Lanna, is in my neighborhood, and I hardly get over to the SW side. Vung Thai is the original name of this restaurant. Now it is Thai Lanna.