You can tell how long someone has lived in the neighborhood by which Thai restaurant they like best: the long-gone Thai Soon on lower Greenville, Bangkok Inn at Skillman and Live Oak, and Royal Thai in Old Town. Thai Soon was very let’s go down to lower Greenville 1980s (and overrated, to my way of thinking); Bangkok Inn was a 1990s, funky neighborhood kind of place (still there, but not what it once was); and Royal Thai is for everyone whose home values have appreciated past trendy and funky.

This is not to say that Royal Thai doesn’t deliver, even if all the furniture matches and it’s a lot cleaner than Thai Soon and Bangkok Inn ever were. The food is almost always up to standard and prices are more than fair. The catch with the food is that when it misses, it misses badly. A bigger problem is spotty service. It’s not unusual, especially when Royal Thai is busy, to wait 30 or 40 minutes for dinner to arrive.

Take a chance when ordering, and venture past the quite ordinary pad thai. Yahm nuah, a beef salad with lime juice, lemongrass and just enough fish sauce, is a zinger.  A duck curry and barbecued chicken — both different than their Indian and Texas counterparts — are also worthwhile. Two other items worth noting: sticky rice with mango for dessert, and one of the the best small restaurant wine lists I have ever seen.



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