This article appears in the March 2011 issue of LouisvilleMagazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com .
Scads of diners who have been waiting for Simply Thai to open in its new digs have been handsomely rewarded. The new location, directly across the street from the old one, sports not only 10 times more room but also a full liquor license, with a wisely chosen beer and wine list whose offerings pair well with spicy Asian food.
In the past, certain foodie wiseacres have proclaimed that any restaurants moving into the space that formerly housed everything from a Hat Box to a Bazo’s is doomed to failure, but here’s betting that those same wiseacres will change their tune once they’ve sat down and started ordering up.
Regulars, of course, always have their favorites, and one outstanding quality of Simply Thai since it first opened its tiny doors five years ago has been the unusual number of tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes. In addition, for a joint that is not officially a sushi bar, the kitchen serves up some darned good rolls.
But for those who want to venture beyond the tried and true, we suggest the Spicy Beef Salad ($8.50). The ingredients are as simple as the restaurant’s name: grilled beef, lettuce, cucumber, tomato, carrot, cilantro, red onion, lime juice and chiles. It’s up to diner discretion how spicy to order it. The beef, unlike the cheap, pressed variety used in much Asian cuisine, is tender and succulent. The dish appears in the salad section of the menu but is one of those rare offerings that are crunchy, refreshing and hearty all at the same time. Have it with a glass of the Big Fire Pinot Gris from Oregon.