Ton Kaew Thai Restaurant: Family-run restaurant does Thai food its way

  • By Anna Poole Herald Restaurant Critic
  • Thursday, March 6, 2008 1:59pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

EVERETT — Behind all the fast food joints that line both sides of 128th Street SW near the freeway exit, there’s a family-owned Thai restaurant that puts its own twist on many dishes.

Ton Kaew Thai Restaurant, which opened recently in a remodeled taco stand, serves pan-fried tapioca pancakes stuffed with Chinese leeks (6.95), has a larger variety of seafood in its main dishes, and uses ingredients such as shitake and white mushrooms for new flavor combinations.

At the same time, the menu has our Thai favorites, including larb chicken salad ($7.95), panang curry ($8.95) and black rice pudding ($3.25).

The house specialties are “Divine Rice,” which is described as “Bangkok’s favorite basil dish,” crab fried rice (both $11.95), seafood in yellow curry ($10.95) and selections from the grill such as fresh vegetables ($8.95) and a New York steak Thai-style ($11.95).

On a recent Saturday visit, my friend ordered one of the house specials — sweet and sour chicken. I had the beef pad Thai, and we split an order of yum woon sen. All were $8.95.

Let’s begin with the most popular — pad Thai. My dish was a familiar mix of rice noodles, bits of scrambled egg and sliced beef with a richer-than-usual flavor. This plus was offset by the fresh vegetables — carrot strips and bean sprouts without any fresh basil.

Although the sweet and sour chicken had the familiar red color, it wasn’t the anticipated taste of the syrupy-sour sauce served in most restaurants. Instead, it’s sweet and sour, but chili gives the dish heat and its red color. My dinner companion ordered his dish “one star,” and we agreed this was the perfect setting to balance flavor and heat.

The yum woon sen is a salad that’s served on torn iceberg lettuce and layers bean thread noodles (also called crystal noodles), ground chicken, tomato slices and seafood in a spicy lime sauce. The sea scallops, prawns and calamari rings were very fresh and perfectly cooked. The salad was as different as it was delicious.

And this delicious difference means Ton Kaew Thai Restaurant is doing it their way.

Herald restaurant reviewers accept no invitations to review, but readers’ suggestions are always welcome. Reviewers arrive unannounced, and The Herald pays their tabs.

Contact Anna Poole at features@heraldnet.com.

More in Life

Bob Jepperson’s Wild Love Story

A perfect circle of sounds, pictures and storytelling from the Anacortes author.

‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globe nominations

“The Post” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” also collected a number of nominations.

Mukilteo Police Chief Cheol Kang is known for his people skills

The city’s top cop’s calm demeanor and holistic approach earns him the nickname “Yoda.”

Three posh places to escape this winter in north Puget Sound

Whether it’s wine country, backcountry or the seashore, a relaxing retreat is close at hand.

Getting a glimpse of what’s coming as we age

Everett Public Library reading to help you understand the changes ahead in your elder years.

This author is throwing a virtual party for book lovers

Jennifer Bardsley is hosting a Facebook get-together for young-adult book authors and readers.

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Taylor Johnston waters a philodendron at her home on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Three guidebooks to help the novice houseplant gardener

Indoor plants are popular again — and we’re not talking about your grandma’s African violets.

Bustling Dublin offers big-city sights and Irish charm

The dynamic city has a great story to tell, and people who excel at telling it.

Most Read