If the sultry, hipster vibe is expected, the not-so-Seattle take on Thai is not. Casting aside the standard phad Thai and red curry fare, SOI has brought the Emerald City a taste of Isan – the Northeastern region of Thailand.
Chef-owner Yuie Wiborg’s menu replaced stewed meats and noodle-heavy dishes with grilled proteins and sticky rice. Sweet sauces were given a backseat. And, the strip mall cave of Americanized-Thai décor was tossed to the curb. It’s been re-erected in vaulted ceilings and wood-planked walls. Outfitted with heavy wood booths, elegant wall lanterns, and industrial sized windows, this new Capitol Hill destination is the kind of joint where a boisterous party and a not-so-fancy date night happen side-by-side.
Lunch here is a bit slower-paced, better for lingering conversations and a post-meal round of French press coffee. Though, don’t be surprised if the inventive cocktail menu makes you consider starting the evening festivities early.
The Basil Canteen (gin, fresh basil, triple sec and fresh squeezed sour) and the Lemongrass Ricky (house-infused lemongrass vodka, palm sugar and fresh lemon) were among my favorites.
From 3 – 6 pm, SOI offers a fantastic happy hour with daily cocktail specials and small plates (fondly referred to as “Drinking Food”).
Price points on their dinner menu are in keeping with their elevated fare, ranging from $15 – $21. But, the portion sizes are reasonable and this is the kind of place where “shared plate” meals are more than accepted.
Among my favorites was the Khao Phad Tom Yum ($13 lunch | $16.50 dinner). This big bowl of comfort food comes studded with tiger prawns and button mushrooms. Lemongrass and cilantro are accented by chili paste and fresh squeezed lime for a bite that packs an acidic heat.
The Peek Gai Panang, a boneless, stuffed chicken wing, delivered a bit of familiarity with its coconut curry sauce ($12 lunch | $16.50). However, I’d opt instead for one of their soups at lunch or pork dishes for dinner.
The Khao Soi, a spicy egg noodle soup is loaded with veggies, including the acidic touch of pickled cabbage ($12.50 lunch). And, the Kor Moo Yahng features a grilled pork collar that’s juicy and spicy ($19 dinner).
1400 10th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122