HOME > Chowhound > Phoenix >


Best Phoenix Thai

  • s

Anything better in the Phoenix area; AZ, for that matter, than Swadee on Linda Vista in Scottsdale?
I'm looking for really good Thai food, but haven't found anything in this state that compares with some of the Thai restaurants in California.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hi,

    Have you tried Thai Lhana on 38th St and Indian School? it is my fave in the vally (even over Swadee.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Leanne
      Seth Chadwick

      I think Thai Lhana has some great Thai food to offer. Good extensive menu. Service is spotty, but the food is terrific, IMO.

      Link: http://phoenixfeast.blogspot.com

      1. re: Seth Chadwick

        Thanks, Leanne and Seth, will definitely give that one a try!

        1. re: Snort

          And, I hear great things about Thai Rama on 12th Ave and Camelback. I love Thai Lhana too, so haven't tried Thai Rama yet. Let us know.

          1. re: Gayle

            I've tried Thai Rama on Camelback, and can't recommend it. One (lunch) visit was enough for me: Dirty restaurant, dreadful eats. It's been years since I've been to Thai Lama and I'd love to find out it's improved -- and I've heard that it has, so please get back to us. I've visited many of the other Thai places around town, and must say my preference is Swadee (esp. the Scottsdale location); but will admit its not comparable to many CA Thai restaurants.

            1. re: jkgourmet

              JK, my bf went to Thai Rama last week for lunch and raved about it. I'll try to hit it soon and get back.

              1. re: Gayle

                If I win the lottery at some point, I'm buying you all a dinner at either "Chillies Paste" in Fremont (Seattle) or "Your Place" in Santa Barbara.
                In the meantime I'll stick with non-Thai certainties such as Los Sombreros in Scottsdale.

      2. re: Leanne

        I'm sorry folks, Thai Lhana is *not* good Thai food. It is to Thai food what Chili's is to Tex-Mex -- passable, but neither original nor remarkable. Thai Lhana would go out of business if it were in L.A. or San Francisco.

        Oh for some good larb...

      3. d
        Darrin Chandler

        I'm quite fond of Royal Thai Grill (x-roads: 202 & 87 in Mesa). The cook has a very nice touch with the seasonings. See my short review at the link below.

        Royal Thai Grill
        321 W. McKellips Rd #103
        Mesa AZ 85201

        Link: http://www.stilyagin.com/darrin/dinin...

        1. I have always enjoyed Mint Thai in Gilbert!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Billy Bob

            I second the vote for Mint Thai. I'm also quite partial to Thai Lhana.

          2. i

            I haven't eaten at Swadee, but Benjarong in Mesa has been the best Thai restaurant I've run across. Much of their menu, excluding the curries, is great.

            1. thai rama in chandler.

              1. As someone who lived in Thailand for a few years, and then in California, I have to agree that it's been difficult to find good Thai food here in the east valley. There's a hidden treasure in Gilbert if you don't mind the drive...Siam Orchid, at the N.E. corner of Gilbert and Guadalupe. Their food is fantastic and prices are very reasonable.

                1. Thai Lhana has always been a favorite of mine.Thai Rama is spotty at best.
                  There is a good Thai place that is fairly new on the west side called "Line Thai" on Bell Rd. just east of 99th ave. I've been there 3 or 4 times and have had great food and service.The place is newly remodeled and very clean.

                  1. I second what ranjenoneil stated. I'd also like to say Mike Thai on the northwest corner of Higley and Southern has a similar feel in flavor, but a bit nicer in atmosphere than Poi Poi's Siam Orchid.

                    1. I eat a lot of Thai. Here's my current ranking:

                      1. Line Thai, 99th & Bell. Gorgeous place, food and service tops. I didn't think it was at all new, but it does look it.

                      2. Swaddee Thai, Ray & Rural

                      3. Swaddee Thai, Scottsdale

                      4. Chanpen Thai (53rd and Tbird) and Thai Lahna

                      5. Thai Rama

                      6. Mint Thai.

                      #'s 1 and 2 are maybe on par with the best I've had in California. The middle is average; the last two -- not good, in my experience.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: themis

                        I'm so bummed. I've always liked Thai but ever since I ate at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas, it like flipped an extra super Thai switch that I didn't know I had. I want to eat at Lotus of Siam pretty much about 3 times a week (and I only get to Vegas a few times a year). It also turned me on to other Thai dishes I never even knew about. I was pretty darn happy with yellow curry & panang but now I'm just looking for more variety. If anybody knows of a place more than your normal selection of Thai dishes, I'd be in the car in a flash.

                        1. re: ccl1111

                          Some places to try:

                          Thai Hut on McDowell and 3rd St. (across Phoenix Art Museum)
                          Palee's Crown on Baseline and Alma School Rd (next to Denny's)
                          Shanghai Palace on Thomas and Hayden
                          Yupha's Thai on Elliot (and Kyrene?)

                          1. re: starlightjulian

                            I went to place formerly known as Shanghai Palace a few weeks ago, and the remodeling was done. The place is now doubled in size. The sushi chef had not started, yet, but, probably has, by now. I believe the new name is Tottie's Asian Fusion.

                            1. re: starlightjulian

                              Thai Hut is my favorite so far in the Valley. I absolutely ADORE their Pad Kee Mao and have to eat it every couple of weeks.

                        2. Sala Thai at 32nd and Shea is pretty good. I can pass on their non-spicy fare, but I love their curries.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Firenza00

                            I agree with Sala Thai....delicious curries!

                            1. re: darajeff

                              Another vote for Sala Thai. My faves are the spicy pumpkin basil chicken and the shrimp spring rolls.

                          2. Another vote for Siam Orchid in Gilbert. We had a great meal.

                            1. did any one try this new Place call Jasmine cafe
                              at Baseline Rd and Gilbert Rd ,just open on NOV 2007
                              2401 E Baseline RD (E of Gilbert )

                              I Tried the lunch special
                              I love the food and the value (the soup and appetizers, fried Rice and specialty noodles is all you can eat, and you get to choice fresh cooked entrées with free cup of daily special curry .great deal and good service too .all for $6.95


                              4 Replies
                              1. re: cindy3113

                                I've always loved Malee's, downtown Scottsdale. mmmm pla. mmm drunken dragon noodles.

                                1. re: randog

                                  I'll second your vote for Malee's. If Thai Lhana is Chili's Then Malee's is probably Houstan's. It's not authentic Thai, but, it's consistent, great food served in a wonderful atmosphere. Always an enjoyable experience.

                                2. re: cindy3113

                                  I've been to Jasmine 2 or 3 times since they opened (right by my house) and have had very good experiences.

                                  I ordered Tom Ka Gai hot - Thai hot - and it came out very pale and white...which worried me, but it was good and hot and very delicious.

                                  Also tried red and green curry and both were fantastic.

                                  Good service too, but it was empty when I was there and so can't attest for rush-hour service levels.

                                  1. re: cindy3113

                                    We tried Jasmine cafe tonight. Overall impression was favorable, but we weren't truly impressed. We split the spring rolls (very tasty, and the sauce had a pleasant mild heat). There were 5 spring rolls on the plate--really quite a large serving, especially for the price. We also tried the satay (yeah, we were just hitting the most basic stuff for our first visit). We were warned that the peanut sauce would be spicy, but it wasn't at all. I would have appreciated some heat.

                                    We also split a plate of beef pad se ew. The thin slices of beef were lean and well cooked. I'm very picky about my meat, so I was pleased. The flavor left something to be desired. It just wasn't quite intense enough. I wanted more of that distinct sweet saltiness, but it was rather bland. The noodles could have been pan-fried just a bit longer, but were a pretty good texture. But the Chinese broccoli in the dish was fresh and beautifully cooked. Not bad, not great.

                                    Service was prompt and friendly.

                                    Three of us (including our 4 year old daughter) ate for under $30, and we took home a pretty good sized to-go box. We could easily eat there for about $20. We'll definitely go again and explore more of the menu, see where they really shine.

                                  2. Try Thai Hut on McDowell and 3rd St. The owners/cooks come from California. I love the Chicken green curry and Spicy Green Beans with crispy tofu (red curry sauce). I love the fact that they serve brown rice.

                                    1. wow..plenty of suggestions for me to try.
                                      in N.scottsdale i prefer Osha Thai on FLW , slightly north of shea, over Swaddee and Malee's

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: fastnoypi

                                        Personally, I did not care for Malee's seafood curry. I found the dish's curry sauce too runny and watered down, and not enough seafood to be found. I also thought that the menu selections were price-y. The alcoholic beverage my friend and I shared did taste great, but I'm not much of a drinker so I wouldn't go back for the beverages. Atmosphere is nice, but when I go out to dine, I go for the food.

                                        I'll have to put Osha Thai on my list to try!

                                        1. re: starlightjulian

                                          I had the seafood curry at Malee's this weekend and while I agree that the sauce was thinner than it should have been, my version was stocked with enough seafood to justify the high price; I ordered it "very hot" and was sweating about 10 minutes in, which is a good thing. My gf had the crispy basil chicken which I thought was very good.

                                        2. re: fastnoypi

                                          I agree. The food at Osha is good. However, I go in with low expectations of their service. Otherwise, they'd certainly tick me off.

                                          I just went to Swaddee in N. Scottsdale after a long hiatus. The yellow curry was *really* watery, but, I found the service to be very attentive and friendly, after hearing stories to the contrary.

                                          1. re: johnseberg

                                            I had a horrendous experience there (which I articulated in another posting) and will never be back. The food was okay, but the service was so bad, so disprectful and so blatantly prejudiced to the mutltiple asian customers who arrived 30 mins after us but got their food 45 mins before us that I'lll never go back to this place.

                                            Good food just isn't enough; they have to treat their customers with respect also.

                                            I have always found Swaddee's service to be incredibly kind and sincere but - like my experience at Osha - everyone's experience is unique.

                                        3. What about Wild Thaiger off of Central just south of Thomas? It is AMAZING.

                                          1. Mike Thai on Southern and Greenfield is top notch. Pretty place.
                                            Bola Thai on Higley and Baseline is good. Nothing fancy about the place order at the counter be seated and they bring the food

                                            1. Thai Elephant, on Central and Adams (just south of Van Buren) serves up FANTASTIC green curry! Has anyone else tried other entrees that they can recommend from here?

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: starlightjulian

                                                I've been pleased with the penang.

                                                Thai Elephant Downtown Phoenix
                                                20 W Adams St, Phoenix, AZ

                                                1. re: silverbear

                                                  We ate at Thai Elephant and it was pretty good! We also just tried Jasmine and it was ok. Not bad, low prices and low quality ingredients but good for the price.

                                                  The few I'd stay away from are Mint Thai (soooo downhill), Wild Thaiger - OK for fast lunch but far from good Thai and Pink Pepper - such cheap ingredients.

                                                  Mike Thai closed. :-( Used to like it.

                                                  I don't consider Malee's Desert Ridge Thai but it's not bad. Good cocktails. Not sure about a sushi bar in a Thai restaurant though. :-)

                                                  Favorites are Swadee and Latitude Eight for sure. I also ate at one in Gilbert not far from Mint Thai (ack) and it was pretty good - it might have been Siam Orchid. Nothing fancy but the food was good.

                                                  Going to Vegas next month to get back to LOS. I don't really think its worth the "10" hype that it gets but it is really awesome. Amazing wine list. Love good wine with Thai!!!! I'm getting hungry. :-)

                                                2. re: starlightjulian

                                                  I've recently been to the Thai Elephant on University in Tempe, just a couple of blocks West of Thai Basil, on the South side of the street.

                                                  For the usual curry dishes I get, the two are quite similar, and it seems they may be under the same ownership? It's odd that they would be so close to each other, but, maybe they figure the lunch rush can easily support both locations.

                                                  The Thai Elephant in Tempe is not easy to spot. The entrance is in the rear, and I don't have the exact address. When Thai Basil is full, chances are a table is available at Thai Elephant.

                                                  1. re: johnseberg

                                                    Thai Basil and Thai Elephant are reportedly owned by the same family and have virtually identical menus. I like both, but I do wonder about quality control as the locations proliferate. I'd hate to see them get overextended like Pink Pepper did back in the '90s.

                                                3. I moved to Phoenix from the Bay Area a few months ago and have been spending a lot of time looking for good Thai around here (as an FYI, before moving, my husband and I had Thai 2-3 times a week). In my opinion, Swaddee serves the best Thai food in the area (of what I tried, although I admit I have many more places to visit based on all of your suggestions). Here is my Yelp list of Thai places:


                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: colivas

                                                    You wont find thai food or let alone asian food like you can find in the bay area. Took my wife and I many years to come to that conclusion. I have gone several stars above thai hot at many restaurants and they come nowhere close.
                                                    I noticed from your yelp list that you like sushi and are looking for a good margarita. Not to hijack the thread, but Los sombreros makes a mean margarita and Dozo makes some of the best inexpensive sushi.

                                                    1. re: seandm

                                                      Had lunch yesterday @ Thai House on FLW....again it was great!
                                                      The place was jammed we ended up taking 2 seats at the bar.
                                                      I had the chicken panang and my lunch partner (unadventurous) had the teriyaki chicken. both were served w/ a greeen salad topped w/ a light sesame dressing along w/ a side of the egg fried rice. We also had an order of the Tom Kha Gai Soup and the fresh spring rolls we were going to order the custard w/ sticky rice for dessert but we were stuffed...I ordered everything a 4 out of 5 spice......next time I'll go 5 as it had a kick...I could have used more.
                                                      I love this place! The other special that intrigued me yesterday was the lemon whole fish!

                                                      I will be back again soon!
                                                      The food was flavorful, fesh spicy and HOT!

                                                      1. re: ciaogal

                                                        We stopped in tonight to give them a try and it was pretty good. Tara's Pra-Ram was more like a brown sauce than a peanut sauce. She liked it for what it was, but it wasn't what she wanted. I had the charbroiled chicken and it was very nicely spiced. The tom ka gai was quite good and I enjoyed the fresh spring rolls as well.

                                                    2. re: colivas

                                                      It says quite a bit about Phoenix Thai food when Thai Elephant can make anyone's list of great Thai restaurants.

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                        Still riding that hobby horse, eh?

                                                    3. For my Thai wife and I, Latitude 8 in downtown Chandler is hands down the best Thai restaurant we've tried in the states. I'll just mention two dishes. The fried fishcakes are light and freshly flavored, unlike anything I'd tasted before. We've tried them at Lotus of Siam in Vegas and those are hockey pucks in comparison. The other dish is the pork and basil stir fry (prik gra pao). It's my favorite dish in Thailand: a simple stir fry of basil, chilies, and pork served with a soft fried egg on rice. In the states, it's often glopped up with bell peppers and onion, but at Latitude 8 it's done just the way it is in Thailand, though even better than expected, and you don't have to ask for the egg -- it's just part of the dish, as it should be.

                                                      We also like Siam Orchid in Gilbert. Malee's is a mystery to us. Tried it once and haven't been back, so that may not be fair.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Hombre

                                                        Come to think of it, the pork stir fry may have been "glopped up" with onions etc. at Lat 8. But it had all the flavors I remember from Thailand and haven't had elsewhere, so I just loved it.

                                                      2. I lived in SF for 5 years and Swaddee is as good as anything there, or at least close enough. Malee's is basically americanized thai.

                                                        1. Tried Mint Thai and Thai Lanna. Both were edible, but not very good and definitely not authentic Thai food. I don't think there is any authentic Thai place in Arizona. If so, let me know.