Tonight we went to Thai and Beth came with us. The place we went is one we have passed by several times and finally decided to try called, Thia on First. We are glad we tried it, the food was superb.
Located in downtown Spokane on First Avenue, it's kinda mixed into the storefronts as you drive down the road and I was surprised at how empty it looked as we drove past looking for a place to park. I even thought it might be closed, but Geo read the posted hours and someone came out through the front entrance so we knew they were open.
It was Friday and they did not close until eight o'clock.
Beth said she thought the place looked "a little scary." I think that was because the front has iron gates and the main entrance is not right on the street and one must go through the open gates down a small corridor to the restaurant's entrance. There was, as usual downtown, an interesting assortment of people walking by.
Once inside I better understood why it it looked closed. It is easy to think that the outside edge of the restaurant was the whole restaurant due to it's storefront location. It's not. It's actually a fairly large facility as you enter the building. The tables you see from the street side are actually on the outer edge of the place, spots mostly likely filed when the place is most busy. It seemed to be a fairly popular and well liked place. There were several groups of people eating when we arrived, mostly groups of men in casual attire as if they were their for a business meeting after hours, some college students and some families too. The restaurant was busy when we arrived and more people came in after us as well. Closer to 8:00 they even filled a take-out order.
The dining area was bright and festive. A lot of natural light came in to the restaurant from the windows. I liked the big plants and colorful umbrellas inside that decorated the room, and Beth liked the colorful plates. It felt a little island-y. We also enjoyed the photographs and decorations around the rooms. It was very pleasant atmosphere to say the least.
The male servers wore khaki shorts and striped shirts which made me think of a cruise ship and all spoke the language on the menu. Our server even understood Geo's rendering of the menu items that we ordered and tonight we actually got to have some of that incredibly wonderful coconut milk soup that we like!
In addition to the soup, we had spring roll appetizers, then the rest of our order came at once, the soup, a curry with chicken dish, an order of rice and a noodle dish. Unfortunately, I could not tell you exactly what the dishes that we ordered were as I did not write it down and Geo ordered them. With the exception of Thom Ka Gai, which I have learned to differentiate between Thom Yum Gai, the best I could do is remember the number on the menu. (One of them was 16) As time goes by I will perhaps get better at knowing the various names of the dishes, until then, I will just let Geo do the cooking. : )
The appetizers were yummy. The soup (ordered @ number 4 on the spicy scale) was pretty SPICED, although Geo thought it was perfect. The curry was delicious, especially with the rice. (You have to order rice separate if you want it with your meal here.) The noodle dish was something both Beth and Geo loved, but I really didn't care for it. They certainly did. Geo even woke up this morning telling me that he couldn't believe I didn't like it. I told him that I couldn't believe that Beth really liked it even though the spice level was at a three! She had thought it was spicy at first bite, but said several times during dinner that she thought it was really good. She didn't eat the soup much more than tasting it. At a four star spiciness, I tell you, it was spicy... yummy and spicy, and even a little hot for my liking.
Geo thought it was some of the best Thai food in all of our food adventures in Spokane. I thought it was good, but then I didn't like the noodle dish as he did. I thought the heat index for spiciness was a little above the average I would expect, well... no, actually, I have to turn that around and say that usually the spiciness of Thai food in Spokane is below what I would expect. The scale at this restaurant is hotter than other Thai restaurants that I have been. I should have known that though by the way the man happily smiled when Geo said he liked his Thai food spicy. I should have sensed the camaraderie.
Thai restaurants like to give their costumers candies after dinner, and this is always a nice touch. Tonight the three of us got four different kinds of hard, sweet candies to sweeten the bill. I like this better than fortune cookies which I never read anyhow. We had fun picking out who would get which candy. Beth took the Werthers Caramel, I took the butterscotch round and Geo got the A&W rootbeer and the peppermint candy too, since he got the "leftover" choice after we made our selections.
He let the ladies go first.