King & I Thai
1346 LaSalle Avenue
So far, we’ve experienced some Minneapolis delights that left us excited to talk about and sure to return. King and I Thai was no different. Just three blocks from our apartment, we trod down the steps of the snow-covered patio and entered the garden-level restaurant feeling as though we entered an entirely different world. The quiet cold outdoors was a thing of the past as we made our way through the enormous, winding dining room full of conversations, laughter and distinct Asian aromas. Hardly a table to spare, it seemed much of the neighborhood agreed this was the place to be for a late Saturday dinner, and we felt glad to be part of the crowd.
We chose a seat in the lounge where the music was a bit louder, but the patrons were livelier. The menu was a pleasant surprise. Asian eateries often present so many choices that I find myself overwhelmed with variety and disappointed with my ultimate decision, but King and I Thai chooses the very best of each type of dish to offer its guests. Alerted of the large portions, Jim and I decided to split. We started with the Shrimp and Lemongrass Salad (menu item #23), a refreshing dish comprising shredded cabbage, jumbo shrimp (thankfully de-tailed for easier eating), large chunks of tomato and onion, and a tangy citrus dressing.
Nervous that we had almost eaten our fill, our mouths salivated again when the entrée arrived. We dug into a large bowl of rice and topped it with our Gaeng Puk (#38). Broccoli, pea pods, mushrooms and chicken swirled in a red coconut milk curry, amounting to a smooth, rich flavor with a spicy bite at the end of each swallow. Beware — we’re spicy food enthusiasts, but we’re glad we opted for a 2-star dish — 4 would have been unbearable. Our waiter did bring us a tray of additional spices to add to our liking, so the meal could become a perfect 2 1/2 stars if we chose.
With authentic flavor, friendly and efficient service, and large portions, this is the best value we’ve found yet. We left full and satisfied with a bag of leftovers in tow, which we’ll easily split for dinner tonight. Throw in 2 domestic beers and it comes to 4 entrées (2 as leftovers), a starter salad and drinks for under $45. Thoroughly impressed, we asked the waiter to recommend the most popular dish for our next visit — #34 is waiting for us.
RATING (out of 5 ♠♠♠♠♠)
Menu Selection: ♠♠♠
Service: ♠♠♠ 1/2
Food Taste & Presentation: ♠♠♠♠
COMPLETE EXPERIENCE: ♠♠♠♠
Total bill, including tip: $44