Titaya's on 9.1.09
I got on Chowhound earlier this evening looking for a well priced meal. I stumbled upon a "Thai in Austin" thread and started to salivate. The consensus of the thread was that Titaya's and Madam Mam's both had strong followings and loyal devotees. Being that I had already been to Mam's, I figured I would give Titaya's a shot.
First, it is right around the block from my house. Score. Second, my wife and I started off with Shrimp Spring Rolls which was served with a house peanut sauce. The sauce was b-a-utiful. I literally polished it off with a spoon. Incredibly good. Another score.
For entrees, my wife went with the Pad Thai while I ordered Gang Panang - a red curry w/ veggies in a coconut broth. My wife loved hers. She also really enjoys Thai Kichten’s, which she said is lighter with more lime, but she couldn't decide a favorite between the two. Titaya's had a more roasted peanut flavor and was little heartier. At just under $8, it was very economical seeing that it will also serve as her lunch tomorrow. Score. My Gang Panang was incredible. Just what I needed to satisfy my previously insatiable salivating. It was spicy, but not sweat-bead-producing. It was luxuriously creamy in the coconut broth and the chicken, which had soaked up the curry goodness, was intensely flavorful. Score.
We could have stopped there. Weaker men would have. But, we pressed on, reminding ourselves of Mark Twain's quote: "Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside." So, we forged on and ordered and Ice Thai Coffee (which I have had better) and Sticky Rice and Mango. The mango was perfect. The sticky rice was bathing in coconut milk. So good. A perfect end to an amazing culinary escapade, practically next door no less.
All this can be yours for approximately $30 before tip. Score. Happy eating.
I was just at Titaya's this afternoon. I ordered the Yum Nuer (Beef Salad). The flavor was excellent, just the right amount of spiciness for me. However, the beef was incredible sinewy. I guess I should have sent it back. I chewed and chewed to no avail. It was very disappointing. Anyone else had a similar experience? Or was this a fluke?
I just discovered Titaya's about six weeks ago and I have eaten there over 10 times since, if that says anything about how good they are. I order take-out there once or twice a week, which is completely affordable at the $6.50 lunch menu prices (portions are large). The weekend/dinner menu is a little more pricey, but there's a lot more to choose from and it's well worth it. I try different things every now and then, but I order the Thai Basil Chicken Fried Rice pretty consistently. I know it sounds like a really simple, not very exotic dish but the complexity of the flavors combined with the heat would amaze you. That's my favorite thing about Titaya's that I haven't found anywhere else - they know how make food ultra-spicy without sacrificing any flavor. Also, the spiciness is customizable; they classify their heat levels on a scale of 0-3 "peppers" which is shown on the menu. I started out ordering my dishes with 2 "peppers" which burned my mouth delightfully the first few times, but then I found myself craving more and more heat. Now I order my dishes with 3 "peppers" or even more (which they're happy to do) and my friends think I'm crazy when they try my food. The only dessert I've had there was the coconut ice cream, which was to die for. The service is always very quick and pleasant, and they're always careful to cater to any vegetarians/vegans. All in all, I find myself craving food from Titaya's more often than any other restaurant in town - and anything that can beat out my cravings for Mandola's and Maudie's must be good.
i've been eating the musmen curry there 1-2x a week for the last couple months. When I go with other folks, we try other things too. All this to say that I've found it to be one of the most consistent restaurants I've frequented in years.
The downside is that there is now sometimes a line at lunchtime.