Sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy. At least three and up to four or even five different taste senses in each dish. That's why you crave thai food.
Luckily for thai lovers, like myself, Miami is catching up on the opening of really good thai restaurants. Last month, I went on the hunt for the best ones and here's my top 3 list.
To say that I was devastated when chef Bee left Khong River House would be an understatement. I went back to the restaurant a couple of times after he left and it was not the same. At all. So, you can imagine my reaction when I heard there was a new thai restaurant in Sunset Harbour and he was the chef. I organized a dinner with my girls and we pigged out! We ordered a couple of dishes, and then we ordered a couple more... and a couple more. Everything was so good that we couldn't stop ordering.
My suggestion would be to go in a big group so that you can order several dishes to try as many things as possible. We started with the Papaya salad and the chicken dumplings. To tell you the truth they weren't my favorites. But right after that, my favorite dish made its appearance. The green curry with sea bass and jasmine rice. It's not super spicy, the sea bass melts in your mouth and the green curry it's the most flavorful one I've ever had. We also tried the red curry with duck, but it couldn't beat the green curry. I cannot emphasize this more, try the green curry!
I am a Pad Thai lover, but I must admit that I ordered it and I thought their Pad See-Eew was much better! It's made with chow nooddle and it has a sweet note.
Although it's a thai restaurant, they have some Japanese dishes. You can't leave the restaurant without trying two rolls from the raw bar. The NaiYaRa and the Shoma rolls. The rice temperature is perfect and the fish is as fresh as it gets.
If you have room for dessert, we tried the Milk Chocolate Pots de crème. It's chocolate puffed rice with creme. It was good but I wouldn't say is the best dessert I've had.
After my thai restaurants hunt, I can say NaiYaRa is my favorite and I'm dying to go back and try a couple more things. Surprisingly, after all we ordered it wasn't expensive at all. Even though the restaurant it's on the upscale side, the prices are very reasonable.
2. Lung Yai Thai Tapas
This Little Havana new spot is getting quite the buzz. They are bringing the asian street food concept to Miami from the space itself to the food. Once you enter the restaurant you can seat at the counter or in the backyard (which just opens at night).
I'd suggest you seat by the counter so that you can see Chef Bas and his staff in action.
With over 18 years of experience and after working at Mr. Yum and Bonding, Chef Bas built quite a reputation. Him and his staff take a lot of care in the food and the presentation.
Their most famous dish is the Palo moo, a spicy pork broth. Their Pad Thai, pad see eew and green curry are also very good, savory and sweet. Unlike NaiYaRa, this restaurant is more casual and less pricey so for me, it's more of a daytime restaurant.
3. Cake thai kitchen
A small place and few tables, that's what you'll find at Cake. This thai restaurant might pass unnoticed if you walk by but every thai lover knows about it, so that might tell you something. Run by chef Cake and his mom, they are specialized in Bangkok style street food.
Among their best sellers you'll find the best cashew nut chicken I've ever tried. Also, their Pad Thai and the Tom Kha Chicken soup are a must. I don't know if it's the humble space or that it looks like a family business but Cake tastes like the real thing and not some thai restaurant that adapted their dishes to a more occidental palate.