What do you think of the Thai food available in Asheville?
Any authentic Thai restaurants near downtown?
We'll be visiting for a week or so in July with a friend from Thailand.
He really wants to try Thai food in the USA as he dreams of opening a restaurant someday-
The best I've had in town is Little Bee Thai, located in a gas station in South Asheville. Don't let that stop you, though. You'll want to order an hour or two in advance and pick the food up. I think they have one or two tables... in the gas station store. Great food. I did recently try Suwana's Thai Orchid on Broadway in downtown Asheville, and was fairly pleased with it, too. There are probably some others here who know more about Thai around Asheville than I do.
Little Bee is the only one in Asheville that seems close to what I've come to think of as "real" Thai. Of course, I say that as a total American. I haven't tried all the Asheville Thai joints, but the couple that I have tried (apart from Little Bee) just seemed to lack depth. Little Bee has a nice robust flavor profile. There's also a place called THAI SPICE that recently opened in Waynesville. They seem good, too, apart from occasionally subjecting meats to slight overcooking. They're sticking with the dishes familiar to American Thai fans for now, but anything I've tried has been really tasty. I'll be curious to see what your Thai friend thinks! I suspect we're all accustomed to super-Americanized stuff, even when we think we're eating something really bold. ;)
I'll 3rd that recommendation for Little Bee - The others in the area (and the place in Grove Arcade in particular) are not worth eating at if you really want to experience (as close to) traditional Thai as we can get in WNC. The owner and chef at LB (Tuk - pronounced Took) is a very sweet person and makes all of her curries etc. from scratch. Can't say enough good things - Be prepared to wait or call ahead. Yum!
p.s. If you like your food VERY SPICY she will deliver! (but don't be afraid if you don't as the dishes are mild/moderate unless you ask for the heat)