Let’s not call it a chain but East Thai & Noodle House by Origin Asian Bistro & Sushi is the third eatery run by a local Thai family. The restaurant features their take on homestyle Thai food. Enticing smells of stir-frying garlic and meats caramelizing in fish sauce waft from the open kitchen where woks clang. The modern but simple space done in red, white and black has Thai fish trap lanterns and a patio in back shaded by red umbrellas. The tables are set with mason jars with candles at night.
Start With These Dishes
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Order the crisp flaky grilled Malaysian-Indian-style roti canai flatbread. It’s chopped into strips for dipping into yellow coconut curry redolent with lemongrass, turmeric and a hit of chile. It’s so well rounded you’ll want to drink it. Or get chicken lettuce wraps with a mixture of ground chicken cooked with diced celery, jicama, crispy fried shallots and pungent hoisin sauce. There are also chicken spring rolls with plum sauce; chicken and beef satay with peanut and cucumber sauce; and steamed or pan-fried pork dumplings laced with ginger and sharp ponzu dip.
Share With These Dishes
The green papaya salad is salty-sweet thanks to the palm sugar and lime juice. Hor mok brings a bowl lined with Napa cabbage topped with slices of salmon in red coconut curry. It’s all wrapped in strips of banana leaves and steamed, creating a savory custard topped with basil leaves and bell peppers.
Noodle soups here are good for sharing. They include skinny egg noodles in a light, flavorful broth with ground pork, bean sprouts, thick slices of pork, shrimp and vegetables and fish tofu. It’s not ramen but close. Or get the kao loa with rare slices of beef in broth with Chinese broccoli. Pad Thai is made with slippery glass noodles with garlic, bits of egg, tamarind, chopped peanuts and fat segments of scallion. Mix in bean sprouts with a squeeze of lime. There are also Thai curries and stir fry with a choice of tofu, shrimp, chicken, beef or salmon.
Save Room for Dessert
Roti made from grilled pastry-like bread discs are drizzled in sweetened condensed milk and cut into wedges. It is served with vanilla ice cream.
What Makes It Special
Bangkok-born owner and chef Tommy Zoobharesasee opened this East Thai branch eight months ago. He also owns a tiny takeout, East Thai Noodles, on Bird Road that his wife runs. Origin Thai Bistro, which his daughter runs, has been on Key Biscayne for 10 years. After becoming an accountant in Queens, New York, he decided cubicle life was not for him. He went to Los Angeles, where he worked at the landmark Yamashiro Japanese restaurant, then came to Miami. Diners are in good hands under the patriarch of a family dedicated to bringing the food of their homeland to Miami.
If You Go
Place: East Thai & Noodle House
Address: 5904 South Dixie Highway, South Miami
Hours: Monday noon-11:30 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday 11:30 p.m.-1 a.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
Prices: Appetizers $5-$9, soups $6-$15, salads $9-$13, entrees $14-$20, desserts $5-$8
F.Y.I. Beer and wine, free valet parking