Restaurant Review

I tend to review restaurants I’ve been to a lot, but I was rather wowed with a Thai spot his week, so here is a “first bite”.  Because a friend of mine owns a Thai restaurant (Galanga in downtown Tacoma, which is quite good), I pretty much never eat at other Thai places in Tacoma.  So visiting a different Thai restaurant is straying a bit.  But stray I did, and my first visit to Loak Toung Thai (3807 S Center Street, Ste B, Tacoma, WA - ) was pretty amazing. Loak Thai is a small place, run by a couple (husband serving tables, wife in the kitchen).  They seem lovely folks, and I felt at home the moment I walked in the door.  As I watched other diners come in, they were greeted as friends – not a bad way to start a meal.  I like to go out to lunch as an escape from ye olde grindstone – and their restaurant was a very nice place to be. The food is a bit of variant from “stock” Thai food.  Maam, the cook, comes from the Isaan region of Thailand, where the cuisine is influenced by Cambodian and Laotian food.  I don’t hear people raving about Cambodian food like they do about Thai, but something magical is happening at Loak Thai.  For starters, the service is very well done.  I asked for recommendations, and the waiter provided have them.  I had the lunch special basil chicken – which was pretty darn amazing.  Chris Boitano – MHP extraordinaire at Nativity House - who recommended the place and joined me for lunch, had the Red Curry.  (I was going to go for the red curry, but then he decided to go for that, and you just can’t order that same thing at a restaurant – it just isn’t done).  Anyway, his curry was served in a hollowed out half-pineapple.  I didn’t get around to stealing a bite, but it was a beautiful presentation, and Chris gave it a thumbs up.  And both meals came with a little bowl of soup and an egg roll.  And rice.  Loak Toung is Thai for “The People of the rice fields”, so I expected it would web well done, and it was.  I think it is safe to say that rice is a bit unappreciated in the US.  I’m always curious about people’s life stories, especially what pushes or pulls them to locate far from where they were born.  Hopefully, on future visits, I’ll be able to hear their story.  Anyway, it is a nice little spot – probably 8 or 9 tables with a lovely décor, and well worth your patronage.  I’ll be going back. 

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