We got out of work about an hour late on Friday and knew it would be tough to get a table right away at Sette Luna (our default option). My wife brought up Touch of Thai on 2nd Street which I’d pitched to her after our last visit to Phenom. Perfect. No crowd, good reviews, and a new place to blog about.

We found a parking spot on Spring Garden and walked past the revamped Colonial pizza shop. We haven’t been in there since we lived downtown and it looks like they’ve remodeled the whole place, including the lower level. The place was hoppin’ and even had outside seating. Definitely a place to re-try.

A quick right onto 2nd Street and we were at Touch of Thai – set back from the street a bit so you could miss it if you drive by too quickly. Just as I’d suspected, the restaurant is in what used to be a 1st floor apartment. We’ve eaten in places like that several times and it’s always kinda strange – low ceilings, creaky floors, small windows, tight floor plan. Touch of Thai was no different, but we were expecting it and were too hungry to care. We were clearly in for some unpretentious, no-frills dining.

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Luckily, i’d remembered at the last second that the place was byob and i’d grabbed a rosé we’d picked up at Newport Vineyards on a trip to Rhode Island last summer. There were maybe a dozen tables, most empty, so we were seated immediately (yes!) with a pair of glasses to get a head start on the rosé.

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The menu was much easier to absorb than Phenom’s phonebook, but wasn’t lacking in variety. I went in expecting to try the Pad Thai based on a recommendation. I ended up going with the Lad Nah Talay, a variety of seafood with Thai cabbage and broad noodles in a tapioca gravy, and my wife went for a green curry dish. We started with chicken satay skewers with a peanut sauce and bean sprouts. Tender and tasty.

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The entrées were just as expected – simple, hearty and flavorful. Both of our dishes were on the soupier side so i’ll probably go with a stir-fry next time.

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The dessert menu had exactly what we’d wanted at Phenom, mango, ginger and coconut ice cream, but we opted for the mango and sticky rice on a whim. Sliced mango, a creamy patty of sweet sticky rice sprinkled with sesame seeds, and a scoop of mango ice cream smothered with whipped cream. It was a new dish for us and we really enjoyed it. We were half finished before we even remembered to take a pic.

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It turned out the rosé had been a great choice – a nice sweetness to complement the Thai spices. We even finished the entire bottle, not something we normally would do, though the alcohol content was relatively low. Overall it was a super mellow evening thanks to the great food and comforting atmosphere (and the wine). Plus the bill was under $40 bucks before tip. Hard to beat that. A little bigger crowd to bring the energy level up a bit would have been nice. Maybe it was a slow night. Regardless of that nitpicking, another good experience will tell us if Touch of Thai deserves to be one of our go-to spots.

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