Summer may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean your cuisine can’t still be hot, hot, hot. Why not spice things up by going out for some Thai? And whether you like to stick with popular dishes like Pad Thai noodles, or are in the mood for something more adventurous, like The Wild Thaiger’s Jungle Prince, made with wild boar, your next dining out experience is sure to be more than savory at one of these Top 5 Thai restaurants in the Valley.
Yupha’s Thai Kitchen
Yupha’s Thai Kitchen serves authentic Thai cuisine and other Asian-inspired dishes. The decor here is contemporary, with bright colors and sleek lines, elegant lighting and engaging art on the walls. The food, too, is plated exquisitely, making a meal at Yupha’s a true feast for all the senses. Established couples should make plans to come to this cozy little hideaway on thier next date night; order the Yupha’s Basil (sauteed New Zealand mussels) to start, and whatever you decide on for your main course (by the way, you can’t really go wrong), order the flaming fried ice cream to finish.
Yupha’s Thai Kitchen is located at 1805 E. Elliot Road, Suite 115, in Tempe 480.839.0576
Latitude Eight Thai Grill
Latitude Eight Thai Grill, named after a region of Thailand, stocks a number of Asian beers and is a chic little spot for a lunch with lots of pizazz. If it’s a salad you’re in the mood for, the Thai Beef salad, with grilled flank steak, toasted rice, cilantro, red onion, Thai chili and cucumber, will surely satisfy. Other great entree choices include the Prik King (chicken or tofu, spicy ginger curry, green beans, red bell, kaffir lime with fragrant jasmine rice) and the Pineapple Fried Rice (chicken, shrimp, sweet pork sausage, pineapple, raisins, curry and cashews). Yum.
Latitude Eight Thai Grill is located at 11 W. Boston Street, Suite 5, in Chandler 480.722.0560
Just one block north of Patriots Square, Thai Elephant is an ideal eatery to stop into before or after seeing a movie or attending an event downtown. Note, though, that they close briefly in between lunch and dinner, and are open only as late as 9 p.m. in the evenings. They’re also closed Sundays. Thai Elephant prides itself on serving dishes made from the freshest ingredients possible, and they serve lunch, dinner, dine-in and carry-out. For dinner, we like the Swimming Rama, made with a sautéed meat of the guest’s choice and Thai peanut sauce on top of a bed of steamed vegetables, or the Ginger Heaven, made with fresh ginger, yellow onion, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, baby corn, straw mushrooms, green onions and the Thai Elephant garlic sauce.
Thai Elephant in Downtown Phoenix is located at 20 W. Adams Street 602.252.3873 // There’s also a location in Tempe, see the restaurant’s site for details.
Malee’s Thai Bistro
Malee’s says they’re committed to shaping all of their dishes into “expressive works,” and we’ll agree that the cuisine here is certainly artistic. Every dish is plated to be just as beautiful as it is delicious. Our favorites include the Coco Chili Fish, consisting of flash-fried white fish in a chili reduction coco cream, and the Evil Jungle Princess, made with a coconut cream-based sauce with chicken and straw mushrooms, and accented with fresh mint. To us, there’s nothing evil about it — just pure goodness.
Malee’s Thai Bistro is located at 7131 E. Main Street in Scottsdale 480.947.6042
The Wild Thaiger
Unlike some Thai restaurants, The Wild Thaiger will cater to the guest’s preferred level of spiciness. We know, we know, some purists will get up in arms at the thought, but still, for those who fall under the “some like it less than hot” category, this will be good news. They even provide a key to their menu that indicates the level of spiciness from one to three chili peppers. The Jungle Prince (traditional thin-sliced wild boar in a hot and spicy red chili sauce), as we mentioned, is a must for adventurous types who truly love authentic Thai cuisine. Just be prepared: it more than earns the mark of its two-chili-pepper rating. A word of advice: order the homemade coconut ice cream, served with crushed peanuts, for dessert to cool down. Of course, The Wild Thaiger also has a full bar and can serve a variety of mixed drinks, wines and beers.
The Wild Thaiger is located at 2631 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix 602.241.8995