Thai 65

Written by on December 1, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(No website found at time of publishing) – University District
How I heard of this place: The first time I visited Thai 65 was at the invitation of my friend, Cameron, who wanted to grab a bite to eat at one of the Ave’s newest Thai restaurants. It has been about as long since I had the idea to eat there, a second time.
Type of cuisine: Americanized Thai cuisine with dine-in, take-out and catering options. Appetizers range from spring rolls to chicken wings and even vegie tempura. Soups, salads, noodle dishes, rice dishes and curries are also available to diners and range in one- to four-star spice factor, to serve the American palate rather than traditional Thai spice.
Ambiance: The space has been expanded since my last visit about six to eight years ago. The walls are painted a deep yellow with minimal ornaments and wall-hangings. Dark, wooden chairs and tables are interspersed throughout the establishment; a few booths (unattached to the floor or walls) can be found towards the back end of the space. The intimate floor-seating with pillows against the walls and rugs on the floor beneath, under the mock house in the back have been replaced and more chairs and tables placed in their stead, presumably for the comfort of the growing number of diners who visit Thai 65. Tables are not decorated, but host a napkin at each place setting, as well as a lone fork atop each napkin.
What I ordered: Having started out with three diners in our party, we ordered enough to satiate our hungry, going-concave stomachs. We were joined by two others, but mostly for conversation and fellowship, rather than as a dining treat. To start, each of my two dining companions, one of whom was celebrating his first experience with Thai food, ordered the ever-popular Thai iced tea ($2.50 each). We also selected the Thai 65 sample plate ($12.95) to start, which included two chicken satay skewers, two tempura prawns, three crab delights (crab meat and cream cheese deep fried in a wonton wrapper and served with plum sauce), an assortment of seasonal tempura vegetables (including sweet potato, green beans, carrots, squash, onions and broccoli), mini spring rolls (chopped vegetables rolled in a wheat wrapper and deep fried), accompanied by a plate of four sauces: plum, peanut, and sweet chili. For dinner, the Thai-food-newbie wanted noodles and took my recommendation for the phad kee mao (drunken noodles) with a two-star spice factor ($7.95), wide rice noodles stir-fried in a chili paste with broccoli, egg, bell pepper, bamboo shoots, onions and sweet basil. My second dining companion, noting that the portions have gotten smaller, opted for the combination special, Combo 9 ($9.50), a panang chicken curry (one star) served with steamed jasmine rice and vegetarian phad Thai. I asked the server for her recommendation between the phad prik khing and the phad bai kra pao ($7.95) and went with the second at her no-hesitation suggestion.
What I loved: Of the variety of options on our sample plate, I most enjoyed the crab delight for flavor, texture and creativity. The prawns and chicken satay both came in at a close second. As far as the dinners went, I was most pleased with the flavor and portion of the phad kee mao, slightly sweet, and full of flavor. The panang curry was lovely, creamy and light. The kra pao may have been more satisfying with beef (a new addition to the Thai 65 menu), and four stars instead of three.
Why I loved it: We were seated quickly, our waters were brought out without hesitation and orders taken before we whad the chance to read through the menu! Efficient, quick, no frills service, good, warm food and excellent company made for a very enjoyable two-hour dinner on The Ave.
Cost: Low ($7-$14 per dinner entree)

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