Asian Thai Kitchen: From Bangkok to a Grove Convenience Store
Homeless men mutter to themselves outside the Kwik Stop on Grand Avenue in Coconut Grove.
Photo by Zachary Fagenson Panang curry ($11) at Asian Thai Kitchen.
Yet tucked inside the convenience store, KT Mongkolthalang and her mother, Toya, stand behind a glass case stacked high with cans of Mae Ploy coconut milk and amber bottles of fish sauce while they toss pearly white strands of rice noodles in a sizzling woks.
While central Grove real estate and restaurants seem to founder, the mother-and-daughter team at Asian Thai Kitchen turns out fragrant bowls of noodles and rich coconut milk curries without even a place for patrons to sit.
After a first bite of a spicy, fragrant panang curry ($11), trying the rest of the options quickly tops to-do lists. The orange-red sauce is rich with the earthy, citrusy flavor of lemongrass and an earthy, not-to-sweet coconut milk.
Photo by Zachary Fagenson Shrimp pad see-ew ($13)
The wide rice noodles of pad see-ew ($13) are coated with just the right amount of a smoky, salty, sweet dark soy sauce. The shrimp are perfectly cooked, and each bite sets off a full mouth burn that should come with most Thai meals.
"We have two kinds of spicy here," KT says with a laugh, "American spicy and Thai spicy."