Taste of Thai spices up the East Village

A pile of green peppers, slices of onion, sweet chunks of pineapple, fresh broccoli, coined carrot slices, tender chicken, and crunchy cashews. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is.

Even with the heat wave that we’ve had in Des Moines lately, I can’t get my mind off of a steaming plate of “Honey Cashew Chicken” from Taste of Thai located at 215 E. Walnut Street in the East Village.

Taste of Thai, the space that once housed Taste of Thailand for 23 years, and Ban Thai (which closed in 2010), has given new life to the Thai scene in the East Village. When Taste of Thai took over the space, they revamped the interior of the restaurant to create a cozy ambiance, which includes the sound of flowing water, vibrant red walls, white table coverings and comfortable booth seating.

The food, which includes a variety of curries, noodle dishes, stir-fries and more, comes out within minutes, piping hot. I’ve tried a number of the dishes at Taste of Thai, including a few appetizers, and I’ve never had a meal that I haven’t enjoyed. My favorite is the Honey Cashew Chicken, which is the perfect marriage of fresh vegetables and chicken with the added sweetness of pineapple. With all Thai restaurants, you’ll let your server know how hot you’d like the dish. While I prefer no heat at all, a few of my friends have tried Taste of Thai’s hottest option and have left with clear sinuses.

Meal prices differ depending on when you visit, but they are comparable to other Thai restaurants in the area (from $8-$12 on average). If you’re looking for a super cheap lunch option, you might not find it here, but you will get quality food and you’ll be in and out with time to spare over the lunch hour. The lunch portion is sized down appropriately for the cost, and the dinner portion is larger. (I typically have enough left over for lunch the next day!)

When I go out to eat I tend to ask a lot of questions about the restaurant itself and about the menu items. The waiters and waitresses that I’ve had at Taste of Thai have been informative and helpful. They are quick to refill beverages and remove empty plates.

Bottom line: Don’t be scared by the bright yellow and red exterior of Taste of Thai. The restaurant dishes up some of the best Thai food that I’ve had in Des Moines! You can try it for yourself Mondays through Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for lunch and from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for dinner.

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