For about 2 months, I refused to go to any sort of ethnic restaurant because the thought turned my stomach. Finally, I was feeling up to something pretty mild and thought I could handle Thai food. Ben was ecstatic. We met up with Becca and Joe at King & I Thai at 7pm. They had gotten there early since they were bored at home, so they had a table. The space in King & I is pretty large, and kind of ugly. I really hate restaurants with minimal windows because you can't tell if it is day or night, and we were way in the back which didn't help.
I knew exactly what I wanted - an order of cream cheese rolls and some pad thai, so it wasn't even necessary for me to look at the menu. I did ask what the difference between the regular pad thai and the chef's pad thai is - apparently the chef's pad thai comes with several kinds of protein. I went with the regular.
The cream cheese rolls were a nice change from the normal wontons - I enjoyed them. The rolls allowed for even more cream cheese, which is always a good thing in my book. The waiter let us know that the portions at King & I are almost family style, and are meant to be shared. We kind of ignored that, since we all wanted different things.
My pad thai came out, and was comically large. I enjoyed it - it was not spicy at all, as I'd requested. Ben got to have as much as he wanted, and I still had enough to take home for lunch. I wouldn't say it's the best pad thai I've ever had, but it was definitely tasty.
There are SO many Thai places in the cities that I probably won't ever go back to King & I, but it's not a bad spot to hit up if you're in the area.
We planned to go out for dinner with Becca and Joe a couple weeks ago and Becca suggested King & I Thai near downtown Minneapolis. We weren't meeting them until 7pm, so we went home from work and headed back downtown later on. Parking in Loring Park is kind of a pain in the ass, but I found a spot about two blocks away for free. It was a nice night so I really can't complain that much.
Finding the entrance to the restaurant was a bit of a challenge for me (I had dropped Erin off at the door cause that's the kind of guy I am), and I initially walked into the apartment building above the restaurant. You have to navigate the large patio area outside the restaurant to find the door. The patio looked like it could be pretty cool if they cleaned it up a bit, it didn't seem like it had been used in awhile, but there are several different levels and walkways to get around.
Once inside I found Becca, Joe, and Erin pretty easily as it wasn't very busy inside, even for a Thursday night. The fact that the dining area is kind of big doesn't help either, it looked sparse inside. The decor inside kind of matched the unused patio - could use some cleaning and updating.
I ordered a half gin, half vodka martini when our server came back around (he looked and sounded like Michael C. Hall), which is kind of turning into my standby drink order when I don't feel like having a beer. We chatted for a bit while we looked over the menu. I really wanted pad thai but I also wanted to try something different and I had been convinced to try Thai fried rice by my co-worker Scott. I went with the holy basil fried rice, which came at the hottest level of hot that they had, though when I asked if it was "melt your face hot" he said it wasn't that bad.
My fried rice had basil, garlic, and beef (chicken wasn't even an option, weird) and was pretty good. The heat from fried rice is different from noodle dishes because its a dry heat. I feel like noodle dishes with a sauce are hotter than this and I think I like them better, so from now on I will hitting up noodle dishes at Thai places (and I got pad thai at Amazing Thailand the next week, delicious).
Joe's Spicy Tom Kha Soup was pretty good, as was Erin's pad thai (with level 0 spiciness :). I don't think I tried Becca's salad but she seemed to enjoy it. I don't remember if Joe convinced me to have an after dinner drink, or if it was the other way around, but I got a whiskey old fashioned afterward that came in a huge rocks glass and was a great way to end the meal. Not much a dessert fan, but I will always take a drink to wash my meal down.
- Service: Eh, it was ok. He forgot the spice rack we asked for, and we had to look for him several times during the meal.
- Food: My fried rice was good, but I think I would have preferred a noodle dish. The pad thai I tried from Erin was definitely good.
- Drinks: Full bar, not sure about happy hour. Their proximity to downtown makes me think they have specials at some point.
- Ambiance: Not much on a slow Thursday night. They have a lounge area that seemed to be getting more traffic, might be a better option.
- Price: Prices were on par with other Thai places, $12-$18 for a huge entree that will easily get you a second meal.
- Convenience: Not too convenient with a car, navigating through downtown and finding some street parking. You could walk there for lunch if you work downtown on a nicer day.
King & I Thai
1346 LaSalle Ave