Editor’s Note, February 26, 2014: Titaya’s is back! It took forever and I seriously lost hope that it would ever open up again. But it has and – in renovated form – it is absolutely beautiful! I tried it out to make sure the quality of the food didn’t bite the dust with the demolition of the old space. I liked what I saw and tasted. The world is right-side-up again.
Editor’s Note, September 20, 2013: To our immense disappointment, Titaya’s shut down for “temporary renovations” in December 2012 and has yet to reopen. Our hopes of tasting Titaya’s tempting cuisine has faded over the past months, and we’ve found ourselves hiding under the eaves of Thai Cuisine for solace.
At the Austinot, we are always searching for the next Austin gem. Just recently, we were wondering the answer to this question:
Where is the best Thai food in Austin?
I’m going to share my pick with you in this post. I know that our readers might disagree, but let me challenge you to comment if you disagree, and tell me your favorite. We’d be happy to go check out your recommendations because we love Thai food. And to say that we love exploring new restaurants in Austin would be an understatement.
Ready for my thoughts on the best Thai food in Austin? Check this…
So the other night, Brittany and I had a hankerin’ (this is Texas, you get hankerin’s ’round here) for some Thai Food, so we surfed the Net and landed at Titaya’s Thai Cuisine.
Titaya’s sits in an unassuming building on North Lamar, just south of 2222 near Half Price Books. We walked in and the place was busy, which of course is always a good sign. We were greeted warmly by a host and seated immediately. Taking a look through the menu, there were plenty of choices. Though many were tempting, we went with our usual Thai food picks. I got the Pad Thai and Brittany went with the Red Curry.
Now I have to tell you that when it comes to Thai food, I’m kind of a snob. I’ve traveled extensively and Pad Thai is one of my all-time favorite dishes. The flavor explodes in this citrusy delightful symphony that is unique among Asian cuisine.
Pad Thai is basically stir-fried rice noodles combined with egg, red chili pepper, tamarind juice, chili oil, fish sauce, and bean sprouts and is traditionally garnished with crushed peanuts, cilantro, and lime. Many people opt to add chicken, shrimp or tofu. I’m a shrimp guy.
Famished when we arrived, I ordered my Pad Thai hoping for the best, but willing to settle for decent. When my food arrived, the aroma coming off the sizable portion and the pleasing presentation of the dish told me I was in for a treat.
But you never know until you take that first bite, right? So with great anticipation, I dove my fork in and took my first bite. Not only was I not disappointed — and I struggle to write this because I’ve eaten Pad Thai in countless restaurants — but I think the best Pad Thai I’ve ever had is right here in Austin.
Brittany was really pleased with her Red Curry and Thai Iced Tea as well. Both dishes were under $10 and, at the suggestion of some restaurant neighbors in a booth next to us, we even tried a dessert. The dessert we tried was the fried bananas with coconut ice cream. Honestly, it was incredible.
As far as the service goes, it was also excellent. Our server Patrick was all smiles and responsive to every request.
Now please understand, I’m not being compensated in any way to share this with you. Heck, to my knowledge, Titaya’s doesn’t have a Facebook account and their web page is down as of this writing, so I can’t even link them for you.
But what they lack in online presence, they more than make up for with their food and service. Titaya’s boasts 5 stars on over 500 reviews on Urbanspoon, and 4 stars on over 600 reviews on Yelp!
They are located at 5501 N. Lamar Blvd, and I can’t encourage you enough to give them a shot.