This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The best way to sum up My Thai is the experience of standing at the register. Let's say you do so after ordering at the counter during the lunch rush or having given your order to the lone server from your dinner table.
Due to the many tasks that must be done by a small crew, you'll probably end up waiting for a minute or two there at the register. Even if the tiny Thai women behind the counter (you can see straight into the kitchen) are attending to sizzling pans of pad Thai ($8.95 to $9.95) or ladling up pastel-hued tom kha gai ($8.95), you shouldn't feel put out.
On the contrary, you'll be privy to the inner workings of a quintessential family-run restaurant. My Thai offers a combination of congeniality, good prices and made-from-scratch Thai food. It's an endearing combination at this strip-mall restaurant, especially considering its presence amid the plethora of corporate eateries in this area of the city.
In fact, to get to My Thai's back parking lot, you'll drive past a Wienerschnitzel drive-thru. During lunch, it can be as congested as the Costco parking lot on a Saturday.
At the restaurant, your perseverance and trust will be paid off with lots of flavor and amiable service. During lunch, you'll find it in the ubiquitous lunch combo. For $6.25, you get a mound of hot jasmine rice and a choice of two curries or stir-fries. My favorite: pineapple pork. You first get a hit of sweet fruit, before long there's a chord of spice on your palate, which is what you would expect from a dish freckled with red chile. Most likely, you will need to ask for a to-go container.
Which brings me back to the register: Every time I visited My Thai, I watched restaurant regulars paying their respects to one of the formidable women working behind the counter. The owners have individualized the space with a touch of paint, a few floral arrangements, a smiling group photo from the set of ABC4's Good Things Utah and a stoic portrait of a young man in uniform.
"The food was wonderful," was the general consensus among the regulars. A server beamed at the compliments and inquired about customers' spouses and family before returning to the line to deliver a plate of fresh spring rolls ($5.95).
My Thai's spring rolls are four large oblong packets of rice paper with fresh basil and mint tucked inside. Beneath the green is a layer of sliced pink shrimp and succulent thin pork slices, all nestled atop a bundle of soft rice noodles.
This sounds plain, but the aromatic affect of the herbs, with the richness of the meat and the texture of the rice noodles, make it one of the strongest dishes on My Thai's menu. This dish was served with its own dipping sauce, a translucent and tangy sauce ideal for the intentionally bland rice noodles.
The curries ($8.95 to $9.95) are excellent, too. It's the standard variety of panang (ochre-hued), yellow, green and massaman curry. The latter stands out, as the curry is a bit thicker, with a dense, aromatic elixir. The texture gives the barest hint of the ground peanuts that are the basis for this curry named after Thailand's Muslim community.
Other familiar dishes are done well, particularly the Thai fried rice ($8.95 to $9.95). Fluffy grains of jasmine are seared along with bits of egg, tomatoes and onions. The pad Thai ($8.95 o $9.95), too, is surprisingly good, with more tang than sweetness to the stir-fry sauce.
The green curry is a soft shade of jade, elegant and fragrant. The liquid is thinner, which is ideal for the dish's delicate balance of flavor.
If you're uncertain as to what might be in your curry, take a look above the register where the ceiling's overhang is painted with the words "basil," "lime," "mint," and "ginger," some of the fundamental flavors of Thai. The flavors are wonderful. However, the meat is pretty standard. I've rarely found succulence in any bit of pork, beef, chicken or even shrimp in most Thai curries in Utah. My Thai is no different. Chicken satay ($5.95) is flavorful, but at times tough.
But for spice freaks, the meat is the last of their considerations when they dare to order "hot" at My Thai. As a spicy food-lover, I found medium wonderfully challenging. "Hot" is sure to get your scalp sweating.
In which case, the server might catch you fanning your mouth to quell the flames. And before you know it, there's a replenished glass of sweet Thai iced tea on the table, ready to extinguish the fire so that you can take another bite.
My Thai Asian Cuisine
Food • HHhj
Mood • HH
Service • HHhj
Noise • bb
Fresh Thai food, fast. What this small venue lacks in ambience it makes up for with flavor. Fresh spring rolls stuffed with herbs and shrimp, fragrant green curry, pineapple pork and a $6.50 lunch combo are worth trying.
Location • 1425 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City; 801-505-4999
Hours • Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Children's menu • No
Prices • $
Liquor • No
Reservations • No
Takeout • Yes
Wheelchair access • Yes
Outdoor dining • No
On-site parking • Yes
Credit cards • All major