There was a time when I wasn’t a big fan of La Thai. I’ve had to reevaluate my opinion and I’m happy to say, I’ve changed my mind. You can now count me as a fan.
Like any place, some dishes are better than others, but what won me over was the Thai-Coon. A delicious dish with jumbo shrimp, Lousiana crawfish, vegetables and fried eggplant in a spicy garlic basil sauce over jasmine rice. It’s a filling dish, but the eggplant is fried to perfection and the seafood, veggies and sauce all work in nearly perfect harmony. It’s hands down my favorite dish at the place.
I’m also a big fan of the Crispy Calamari. La Thai has breading and frying down and their version of calamari is made with one of the best sweet chili sauces you’ll find. A friend even said it was “the best calamari she’s ever had.” At this point, I’m inclined to agree with her, at least when it comes to fried calamari.
Two other appetizers I enjoy quite a bit are the Skewerless Chicken Sate and Mama’s Stuffed Chicken Wings. The wings are some of the best wings I’ve had in quite a while. I’ve never really seen New Orleans as a big wings city, but La Thai has a dish that proves to be the exception to that.
La Thai also has two salads that stand out. The first is the Naked Shrimp Salad with mango, tri-colored peppers and mango-peanut dressing. It’s fruity, crunchy and full of zest and flavor. The second is the Pecan-Crusted Oyster Salad with lump crabmeat, pecans, grapes and wasabi lime aioli. This is probably the best salad on the menu. The oysters are fried perfectly and actually work well with the sweetness of the grapes.
The noodle and rice dishes are La Thai’s bread and butter and they have some great dishes in this section of the menu. The Paht Thai is always a popular choice, but I’ve always found it just a tad bit underwhelming compared to the Paht Woon Sen and the Thai-Coon. Did I mention I’m in love with the Thai-Coon?
You’ll also have a great choice of curries when visiting. All are delicious and very in spiciness.
On my last visit, I went during lunch and ordered the Cashew Chicken. They definitely didn’t skimp on the cashews (a big plus in my book) and it was a great blend of sweet, saucy, spicy and salty. I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again.
Aside from the food, the decor is impeccable and the service is always excellent. Diana and Merlin Chauvin (chefs/owners) are two of the nicest people on the New Orleans restaurant scene. They don’t treat anyone at La Thai like a stranger. They’ve collaborated to make La Thai a great neighborhood joint for all of New Orleans.
Paht Thai and Calamari images courtesy of Amy Jett Photography.