Like good Thai food? Live in Boise’s east end? Enjoy eating outside the box? I’ll share a little secret with you. Pat’s Thai Kitchen is a modest establishment tucked into the troubled strip mall anchored by The Ram. Businesses have come and gone here like the tides, but Pat’s defies the currents. The plucky little diner has been in this location for about six years. I surmise that the lunch bunch from Washington Group International across the street provides a stable clientele. The restaurant is owned-opporated and the food is owner-cooked. Many of the recipes originated with Pat’s grandmother in rural Thailand. Pat’s wife Yee brought her family’s ages-old curry paste expertise across the ocean with her.
Evenings at Pat’s are quiet and laid back. On a recent visit, my partner and I shared a small side of cucumber salad. Chopped cucs and red onions basked in a sweet rice vinegar dressing. It was a tiny exclamation point for a mere $1.50. I ordered the chef’s special—at $18, the most expensive item on the menu. Grilled Coho Salmon lounged dramatically across steamed asparagus spears. The salmon was dressed in a decadent gown of red curry paste with sautéed orange and yellow peppers. I like to live on the wild side so I bumped the spice level to four stars on a scale of one to six. The spice was just right, the curry seasoning to die for, and the salmon was moist and flaky. Steamed rice accompanied the dish.
Why would a person who doesn’t really care for peanut sauce order a dish with peanut sauce? Well, my friend sheepishly admitted that what he really craved was everything else that comes with the sizzling beef. In other words, he wanted beef, broccoli, cabbage, onion, cucumber, and cashews. And that’s what he got. And yes, the sizzle mocked your ordinary Mexican fajitas and the peanut gravy bubbled like a magic cauldron. As expected, he liked everything about the dish except the sauce. I tasted his meal, too. But after the exquisite flavors of my curry, it seemed unfair to compare the two dishes. This I know, I’ve never had one of Pat’s specials that wasn’t really outstanding and made with top drawer fresh ingredients.
The ambiance at Pat’s is understated warmth. In the evening, I think they could stand to bring down the overhead lights just a tad for a bit more atmosphere. The restaurant is small enough for one energetic waiter in the evenings. On this occasion our young waiter seemed a bit tentative about traditional Thai foods and their proper descriptions. But he was attentive, eager to please, and learning.
Don’t arrive hankering fresh spring rolls. Mysteriously those are missing from the menu. Other than that, the menu appears to encompass everything you would expect from a Thai restaurant. A select assortment of wines and beers are available. As expected, vegetarian dishes abound. Our server informed us that all items except the egg roll and fried wonton are gluten-free. Take-out orders are welcome.Pat’s Thai Kitchen www.ThaiKitchenBoise.com 577 E Park Blvd. C110 Boise ID 83712 Phone 208-345-0026 Fax 208 345-0027 Hours Lunch: Mon-Fri 11am – 2pm Dinner: Mon – Th 5pm – 9pm Fri – Sat 5pm – 9:30pm