Begin your culinary journey with an order of spring rolls or cheese rolls, stuffed with raisin-studded rice paper and deep-fried (both $4.25). Classic dishes done well appease traditionalists, including spicy Tom Yum soup ($4.25–$5.25), pad Thai ($8.95), pad see eiw ($8.95), and five kinds of curry ($8.95–$9.95). Build a balanced meal with the entree and rice dishes including garlic and pepper lover ($8.95) with stir-fried meat tossed in black pepper sauce over cabbage. Diners can also pick from grilled selections ($10.95–$12.95), served with shrimp fried rice and steamed veggies. Cool off a spice-saturated palate with a sweet scoop of coconut ice cream ($3.50) for dessert. Expect friendly service, carefully curated curry, and a cozy ambiance at any of the eight outposts. Like the recipe for Play-Doh, Thai Cottage adheres to simple, timeless standards.
The squiggles on Thai Siam’s menu indicate the spice level of each dish, on a scale of one (“warming up”) to four (“suicide hot”). “Warm up” with pineapple fried rice or go full throttle with red-curry tofu, then cool down after either with housemade coconut ice cream. The paper umbrella topper will draw a smile even through heat-induced tears.
The Bangkok Chef kitchen is a treasure trove of fresh, exotic ingredients—from juicy mangos to crisp kaffir leaves to fiery chilies. Chefs fold the ingredients into a comprehensive array of traditional Thai specialties, including curries, noodle dishes, and stir-fries. Inside the bustling kitchen, you'll find them flying around stirring tender duck and pineapple into a red curry and peeking into pots of bubbling tom yum soup, ensuring each dish is spiced to perfection. Servers carry dishes out into the bright dining room, where soft lights illuminate intimate tabletops and comfy booths, and expert bartenders blend up lychee martinis and minty mojitos. The restaurant sometimes closes briefly after the lunch rush before reopening in the evening, allowing chefs time to assemble fresh ingredients for dinner or attend rehearsals for the kitchen's upcoming production of Oklahoma!.
The chefs at Anothai Cuisine and Nara Thai Dining grind their own fresh herbs and spices to awaken patrons' tongues with each bite of their Thai dishes. Pungent curry coats seafood, chicken, and noodles, and on the other end of savory-to-sweet spectrum, mango imbues shrimp with flavor that evokes the tropical drinks of which ice fishermen's dreams are made. Artfully arranged garnishes complement colorful dishes to excite the eyes, which can scan the bright red and white accents between bites.
At Ginger Thai Restaurant, Mondays are yellow, Tuesdays are green, and Wednesdays are red. The lunchtime Curry of the Day continues with panang and massaman on Thursday and Friday, respectively. The curries hardly limit your meal, though, as an appetizer buffet offers a variety of sushi, soups, and rolls for snacking.
The chefs at Thai Jasmine begin their workday well before lunchtime, assembling the flavorful basil, crisp baby bok choy, and tangy fruits they will need for the day's dishes. They fold the fresh produce, meats, and spices into the authentic Thai specialties lauded by reporters from the Houston Press as "some of the honestly best Thai food in town". The chefs simmer up red, green, and yellow curries with coconut and bamboo shoots, and grill chicken, pork, and beef in a tangy Thai barbeque marinade. And, for dessert, they serve scoops of ice cream with fried bananas and sticky rice. But there is one thing they don't handle: drinks. Luckily, the BYOB eatery welcomes guests to bring beverages purchased at an outside store or squeezed from a roadside cactus.