In Salt Lake City we have dozens of Thai food restaurants. But most of their dishes taste like they came out of a single commissary. I always envision a warehouse space in South Salt Lake churning out the full spectrum of curries with Thai restaurant people stopping by with their big pickle buckets to pick up their share. Restaurateur Anny Sooksri wants to share a very different idea of Thai.
Growing up in Thailand, Sooksri learned to love all kinds of Thai food and her Salt Lake restaurant group including Tea Rose Diner, FAV Bistro, Chabaan and Siam Noodle Bar reflect different facets of Thai cooking. Visit each one for some of the best Thai food in Salt Lake City to understand the breadth of this crave-worthy cuisine.
- Tea Rose Diner, 65 E. 5th Ave, Murray, 801-685-6111 Formerly a hot dog joint, Tea Rose’s interior reflects its humble all-American origins and there are still American dishes on the menu. The usual red, green, yellow, Panang and Massaman curries are excellent. But we chose the more unusual dishes and we loved the Jungle Curry—your choice of meat with krachai—a tuber sometimes called, inaccurately, little ginger and a bunch of different vegetables: bamboo shoots, bell pepper, carrot, bell pepper, baby corn, zucchini and mushrooms. (This veg load gives you permission to eat beef tomorrow.) And we’d never seen anything like the pad Thai loosely rolled into a thin egg omelette. Which was great—we love surprises.
- Fav Bistro, 1984 E Murray Holladay Rd, Holladay, 801- 676-9300 Thai breakfast. Not the first thing we think of in the morning, but a great alternative to the usual ham & eggs repast. Several of Sooksri’s restaurants serve breakfast—Thai fried eggs, for instance, eggs mixed with vegetables and served over rice. Or an omelet made with coconut milk and turmeric. You can also order vegan versions of these and, yes, for the timid, American breakfasts are also on the menu. But why?
- Chabaar Beyond Thai, 87 W. 7200 South, Midvale, 801-566-5100 Curry Pot Pie is a genius cross-cuisine hybrid that’s becoming a fixture on Thai menus in California but I’ve never seen it here: the idea is obvious, so why doesn’t every place do it? Just choose your favorite red, yellow, green or massaman curry with pork or tofu. It comes baked under a pastry crust over the top.
- Siam Noodle Bar, 5171 Cottonwood St. #160, SLC, 801-262-1888 (Intermountain Medical Center) Many think chicken soup is the panacea for all ills. Clearly they haven’t tried the gluten-free broth and noodle soups at Siam Noodle Bar—the best hospital food ever because it would be delicious in any setting.
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