Monday, June 16, 2008

The Best Thai

It's been a while since I visited Panya Thai on 163rd Street and 6th Avenue in North Miami Beach. This hole in the wall, is right next door the original Krispy Kreme. Being a Thai fanatic, there are very few Thai places that can do it right. Panya Thai is one of them.

The place has been fixed up and redecorated sine my last visit and is, well, very Thai'ish. The service staff seem to live in the place as they always seem to be on duty. They are very friendly, and are light on the English, heavy on the Thai. The first thing I notice when I arrive is the number of presumably Thai locals eating here. This is always a good sign.

Everything here is made to order, and the soups are no exception. The Tom Yum Ka (chicken) or Tom Yum Goong (shrimp) are the winners. If you like coconut milk, order the Tom Yum Gai, One note here, the food here is generally on the hot side. Medium is hot. Hot is fire. I order mine mild, and add the supplied spice powder to taste.

For appetizers, the Chicken Larb Gai, is a fusion of fish sauce, red onion, lettuce, rice powder, scallions, and cilantro. It is scrumptious. The Jumping Shrimp are excellent and the Beef Tiger Tear is also a winner.

The staple of the Thai Restaurant are the curries. Panya offers: Red, Green, Panang, Massaman, and Secret Night. All can be had with chicken, beef, pork, or tofu. The Red Curry here is the one that others should strive to be. The Panang Curry has a slightly more peanut taste than the red, and the Secret Night has fried egg in it. All are served with white rice. Also a staple is the Pad Thai. It is served just right with the freshest ingredients. I usually get the chicken or shrimp. They are very generous with their portions and heavy on the chicken or shrimp in all their dishes.

Let me mention the lunch specials here. For $7.95 you can order one of sixteen dishes including any of the curries or Pad Thai. It comes with rice and a salad with that all too famous peanut dressing.

Having eaten Thai food in the South Pacific, and all across South Florida, I cannot recommend this restaurant enough. It is the best Thai Food I have eaten in South Florida and savor any visit there. Don't wait and don't keep eating sub par Thai Food. Go to Panya Thai.

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