In case there is any debate or confusion, that cute, unassuming Tasty Thai restaurant in the shopping center on the corner of Glendale Avenue and South Byrne Road does indeed serve some tasty dishes.
A one-room shop filled with booths and tables, Tasty Thai offers those same qualities you love about your favorite Chinese place, but with a kick of heat and a touch of exotic flavors.
When you approach the counter to place your order, the menu is displayed with appetizing pictures of colorful food and Tasty Thai's smiling owner hard at work in the kitchen. Be prepared to find nine pages of menu options.
For our first round, we opted for the veggie summer rolls ($4.50) and the Tom kha soup ($4.50). The summer rolls were light and crunchy, filled with fresh lettuce, cabbage, and carrots, and served with a peanut sauce that more closely resembled soy sauce with chopped peanuts and a distinct peanut flavor. It didn't take long to swallow these up before we moved on to the soup.
The Tom kha soup, filled with button mushrooms, tomatoes, scallions, and chicken in a spicy broth with a hot-and-sour feel, was delicious. The heat and intensity of the flavors had me wondering how so much could be packed into such a light broth. About halfway through the bowl, I realized there was supposed to be a coconut milk element to the soup, which was clearly absent. Just as I was about to subtract points for this flaw, I realized the milk had been delivered on the side, perhaps to prevent curdling. I just had to pour it in and the meal was taken to a higher sweet and spicy level. I give my respect to any restaurant that can have a soup that delectable even when an absent-minded customer forgets to add the key ingredient.
Tasty Thai ★★★★
MENU: Tasty Thai
Address: 1515 S. Byrne Rd.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday
Wheelchair access: Yes
Average Price: $$
Credit Cards: AE, Dis, MC, V
Web site:Tasty Thai Facebook Page
For the main course, I chose rama garden with chicken ($10.99). As a meal that appeared like a typical Asian stir-fry (baby corn, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, celery, and cabbage over a bed of rice) I was a little skeptical as to how it would taste doused in a rich peanut sauce. But, as was the norm here, my worries were for naught. The peanut sauce made every bite better than the last with the perfect combo of rich nutty taste and that distinct Thai heat.
Other dishes we ate that impressed: the seafood clay pot ($17.99), shrimp, scallops, mussels, and squid in a pot of steamed vegetables with Tasty Thai's special sauce, and kao soy noodles ($10.99), steamed egg noodles in yellow curry sauce with shredded cabbage and carrots.
The best part about this mom-and-pop establishment is the wide variety of choices, prepared well in hearty portions. Most meals and appetizers come with the choice of shrimp, chicken, beef, pork, or tofu as the protein mix-in. And if the traditional Thai dishes are too much for picky eaters, Tasty Thai offers some Chinese takeout staples with a slight Thai twist, such as sweet and sour chicken ($10.99) with cucumber and pineapple chunks, or fried rice ($9.99) cooked in the house sauce.
You'll fill your belly here without breaking the bank and it's a great way to get something different takeout style or sit-down.
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