Local Thai restaurant charms and impresses

Monica Rao

In my family, food is not a subject that is taken lightly. Dinners out are a lengthy experience, and the discussions on the subject of culinary feats can drone on. That being said, the process of choosing a restaurant can last for hours, with each person requesting something different than the next. So to solve this inefficiency, my dad devised a system to ensure we eat dinner before midnight on the weekends. The four members of my family rotate through two categories: the type of food and the specific restaurant. Last weekend was my turn to pick the type of food, and my mom’s turn to pick the place. I was feeling like Thai food, so I made my choice, and left my mom to decide on the restaurant. Thus we found ourselves that Saturday night at Titaiya’s Thai Cuisine.

Though it appeared to be very small from the outside, the restaurant was actually quite large when we walked in. The exterior décor was funky and simple, with red and yellow wooden panels laid over each other, all tied together by a rectangular black and white sign in the center. As soon as we stepped inside, we were hit by the overpowering sounds of chatty customers and delicious smells. The restaurant was completely packed with people at each table, and steaming dishes being carried through by waiters. The inside was no less well designed than the outside. Colorful panels hung from both the ceilings and the walls, interlaced with stark black and white photographs. Combined with clean wooden tables and simple modern light fixtures, the overall effect was both cheery and contemporary.

The menu was quite large and the prices were fair, with most items staying between $8.95 and $11.95.  My brother and I each ordered a dish, and decided to split the two. I chose to the standard Pad-Thai with chicken, whereas he chose one of their specialties recommended to us by the waiter. This second speciality dish was the Ta-lay Dancing: Stir-fried shrimp, squid, green mussels, mushrooms, tomatoes, yellow onions and green onions in house spicy Tom Yum sauce.

Our food arrived fairly quickly, and I was pleasantly surprised. The portions were generous, and the tastes were beyond amazing. Though Pad-Thai may be a common Thai dish, this was definitely some of the best I’ve had. The noodles were perfectly cooked, and the chicken was expertly seasoned. As for the Ta-Lay Dancing, I’m usually not the most adventurous eater out of the group, but I was shocked at how much I enjoyed the interesting dish.

Located at 5501 N Lamar Blvd, Titaiya’s Thai is closed on Mondays, with hours from 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 12:00 – 3:30 p.m., 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. In my book, this restaurant is a must-visit. The décor and service were fantastic, and the food was out of this world. I will definitely be going back.