Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thai Smile 5

When we go to Thai Smile the owners know us on sight. My first experience with this delectable establishment was on New Year's Eve several years ago. Leslie had learned about it from a friend, and a small group of us had a lovely New Year's Eve feast. The food has always been excellent. I've had Thai cuisine in several other establishments (including a very upscale restaurant in L.A.) and hands down Thai Smile 5 is the best. Located on Preston Highway in what was once a Taco Bell the owners have totally redone the space. It is warm and inviting and very clean.

If you're not familiar with Thai food, this is a great place to start. It is an oasis of truly fabulous real food, everything is as fresh as possible. It is easy to select a variety of healthy and succulent tasty dishes. The proprietors are happy to help you craft a dish that is perfect for you. If you don't know what to order and they will ask you questions if you like: steamed meat/crispy meat, spicy hot, mild, sweet, salty, rice or noodle, vegetarian? From this they help you find something you will like and if something is too hot they are very gracious in taking back a dish. The spice system is the five star with 1 stars being mild and 5 stars being very hot. I always say until you are familiar with a particular restaurant always order one star below what you think you can handle. If you need more spice they will gladly bring the pepper pot to the table. If you happen to look out back behind the restaurant you will notice several pots of herbs. They do grow some of their own spices and they have fresh vegetables delivered daily in the morning which they chop making the lunch and dinner service quick. It is fine dining without much of a wait for your entrees.

Appetizers are supposed to give your palate a tasty wake up call before your entree arrives. Some restaurants load you up with such large and heavy appetizers that you barely have room for any of the main course. Here the portion size and savoriness is just right. Our favorite is the sampler appetizer which you can order for two people or four. The sampler comes with spring rolls, satay chicken, curry puffs, and steamed dumplings. It comes with a peanut sauce, peach sauce and a brown sauce. All of them are delicious. I tend to use the peach sauce on everything except the chicken and the dumplings.

This wouldn't be complete without a few words about the soups. Jenny is not usually a fan of soups, but she suggests everyone try the soup here. Her current favorite is the Thai Wonton Soup, whereas mine is the Thai Egg drop Soup. These put every wonton and egg drop soup I've ever had to shame. I like their wonton soup which is saying a lot because generally I don't like wonton soup at all. The soups range in price from $2.95 to $5.95. The wonton and egg drop are each $2.95 for their small serving; the first time I ordered the small egg drop I thought they had mistakenly brought me a large serving size. I suggest that you get the soup or an appetizer, so that you have plenty of room for your entree.

Leslie and I both order the chicken in Thai Basil Sauce which we get "Thai style" meaning the chicken is shredded into small bits. This the owner tells me is more authentic and how it is served in Thailand. It certainly seems to allow the flavor to permeate the dish much better. Leslie and differ on the spice levels I usually go for a 3 star while she takes a half star. It is the same dish with different heat levels. We do have to be very careful to make sure that we have our order in front of us so there are no heated surprises for Leslie. I must we say love this dish and get it almost every time we go to Thai Smile, but I do sometimes make myself try something different. It still reigns as my favorite. Jenny ordered the Noodle Bowl with Crispy Chicken which is one of her favorites now along with the tangerine-pineapple chicken.

About the desserts we can't really comment, because we enjoy the appetizers, soups, and entrees so much that we are completed satiated by the time dessert would be served. Thai Smile 5 has the highest quality of food and the prices are reasonable. Two people can easily eat (and eat well) for around $30. They are worth a trip out to Preston Highway, and they have just recently opened up a sister restaurant called 2B Thai out in Elizabethtown. Jenny has already tried it out and tells us that the quality is just as good. We are so happy to review Thai Smile 5 and hope we have done their excellent cuisine and service justice.

Thai Smile 5
5800 Preston Highway
Louisville, KY 40219
502-961-9018

2B Thai
3040 E. Ring RD. Suite 2
Elizabethtown, KY 42701

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