Little Thai Food rocks it old-school. Not in the Old School BBQ & Grill kind of way, with a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account. Or in the elementary school way, like the Local Yolk, which serves only one type of sustenance, egg sandwiches. No, Little Thai Food’s attitude and yummy grub are closer to the food trucks of yore than the concept trucks of East 6th.
Sidle up to Little Thai Food’s spot, on South First, and order from their diverse menu of classic dishes. The owners, formerly of CK Thai, in South Austin, whip up curries and stir-fries from scratch. Just remember: Patience is a virtue.
My favorite was the pad ka prow, with big basil leaves, bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, tender chicken, and Thai chilis. I ordered it medium-spicy and was pleasantly surprised by the slow burn. The green curry was a close second: zucchini, bell pepper, eggplant, tofu, and a ton of bamboo stewing in a rich coconut milk–based curry sauce. The tofu absorbed the flavor of the sauce but still felt fluffy and light, a nice contrast to the sturdy (but still savory) bamboo pieces.
The only disappointment was the pad see ew. In terms of names, I’ve always thought this particular dish drew the short noodle. Done right, the flavorful meat, faint suggestion of egg, and Chinese broccoli are only a distraction from the light, slightly sweet sauce and the soft-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside pan-fried flat noodles. Little Thai Food’s version featured plenty of sliced carrots and broccoli, but the flat rice noodles were limp, the sauce bland, and the beef a little tough.
Much better was the chicken satay, big hunks of skewered chicken accompanied by a thick, rich peanut sauce. Traditional and tasty, just like the Thai tea, black tea swirled with condensed milk to create the ultimate sugary treat.
Innovative? No. Gimmicky? Not in the least. Some of the best Thai food in Austin? You’ve got it.
1207 S. 1st (512-567-9299). Open Mon–Sun 10–9.
Posted by Megan Giller
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