Thai Lake Charles 

admin Thursday, January 18, 2024 Comments Off on Thai Lake Charles 
Thai Lake Charles 









When it comes to food, Southwest Louisiana offers flavor and flair. Our little corner of the state is known for its great culture and for having some of the best-tasting cuisine in the state. But we have a tendency to be hesitant about a new restaurant.

When Thai Lake Charles began hinting about their desire to open a new restaurant, I was elated to hear the news and immediately hoped our community would support it.

A few weeks after they opened, I had the opportunity to experience Thai Lake Charles with my wife. We arrived for an early lunch just a few moments after their 11 am opening.  I had expected that we would be the only patrons there that early in the day. But I found that Southwest Louisiana had been more than ready for this restaurant and was welcoming it with open arms.

Located in what many will remember as the former VitaMart on East Prien Lake Road, Thai Lake Charles features Southeast Asian dishes. Inside the simple and busy dining room, we were welcomed to the counter. As we looked over the menu, the clanging and swishing of cookware echoed from behind the wall. We knew that one visit was not going to do for a review, as there is such a variety on the menu. 

We both ordered our to-go dishes, with an order of spring rolls to start us off.Shyla ordered the orange chicken and I went straight for a pork Pad Thai. 

Although the dining room was moderately busy, the wait for the freshly prepared food was only minutes. 

First up was a pair of spring rolls in delicate and transparent rice paper wrap with fresh, crisp vegetables, served with a unique peanut sauce. They had a touch of sweet glaze with a peppery heat that built with each bite.
The orange chicken featured small cuts of breaded chicken and thin-sliced al dente carrots tossed in a bright, fresh orange sauce. When I ordered the pork Pad Thai, I was asked which spice level I would like. I decided I had to know where the heat maxed out, so I went right to the top: Level 5. 

The dish was a generous portion of rice noodles, tender, thin-sliced pork and chopped nuts in a flavorful and deep umami sauce. The fresh bean sprouts offered a slight crunch and a rather weak attempt to cool the powerhouse punch of the capsaicin in the peppers throughout each and every bite. It was exactly what I was hoping for.

After a couple weeks, I decided it was time for a to-go meal from Thai Lake Charles, and I told my wife that I would pick up dinner.  

Pho earned the top pick. But on my first visit, another diner had ordered a curry dish that had been on my mind ever since. 

On this return visit, I asked the gentleman behind the counter “Out of all the curries, which is the most …” He stopped me there. “You want the yellow curry.” He knew I wanted the most flavor of the three. 

Sitting off to the side, I watched the diners and noted the dishes being delivered to tables across the dining room. I also noted the interaction of the server and the delight and satisfaction of the customers. 

To say the portions were large would be an understatement. As I unpacked our dinner, the aroma of star anise and allspice steamed from the Pho, which had chunks of meat and vegetables throughout. Separate containers of rice noodles, fresh sprouts, lime and cilantro allowed us to tailor our dishes to our liking.

What I had really gone for, and couldn’t wait to dive into, was that yellow curry. While it was accompanied with a choice of white or brown rice, I reserved some of the rice noodles to incorporate into it. I had learned a lesson while eating the Pad Thai, and this time opted for the middle-of-the-road spice level 3. 

The complex, yet beautifully pronounced, flavors in the curry were an adventure. The dish was loaded with chicken and vegetables and was aromatic with garlic, lemongrass, cinnamon and coriander, with hints of ginger and cumin in a smooth coconut milk. Each spoonful was truly flavorful, and I ate on this for three days.

Between the feeling that each customer was genuinely appreciated and the generous portions of flavor that flowed through each and every bite, every aspect of Thai Lake Charles was fantastic.

806 East Prien Lake Road, Lake Charles

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