The area is perfectly safe and is close to the area that services the Gay Community here. Accordingly there are many smaller 'bistros', pubs etc together with a smattering of ethnic cuisines around the fringes. The main 'action' will be west of where you're staying, although once you get past Church St you'll be entering 'tourist rip-off' areas. And to the South it gets a bit dingy too.
Within easy walking distance are Rashnaa (southern Indian/Sri Lankan cuisine) and Salad King (Cheap, filling Thai food - a University hang-out - the upstairs room is more private - downstairs is communal seating - but that's a good way to meet locals). There are several other good Thai places too - as I'm sure you'll find out.