Thursday, June 2, 2011

#195: Thai Kitchen Khun Daeng

Sometimes it feels like local restaurants within a specific genre can starts to look the same.  Each greasy spoon diner, every dive bar, and all of the generic Italian fine dining spots start to feel, taste, and even smell just like each other.  Maybe in my case, I'll call it the Michiana-rut.

When you begin to miss the characteristic nuances of each locale and you fail to appreciate what makes that family-owned business different from all the others, it takes a special place to shake you out of such a rut.  This Mishawaka Thai eatery did just that for me.  The dining experience at Thai Kitchen Khun Daeng was a real shot in the arm of my Michiana foodie exploration.  Of course, the food was unique and delicious - yet the colorful character and refreshingly novel ambiance within the deceptively drab exterior of Khun Daeng is what sets this place apart from the other local Thai joints.

Housed in what probably used to be a house, the unexpected architecture of this restaurant creates a comfortable and even cozy atmosphere, while the vibrant, yet eclectic decor adds an exotic feel.  All in all, unusually quaint and a Thai translation of kitschy chic.

Location: 302 East Russ Avenue, Mishawaka
Tip: With almost all Thai restaurants, be weary of their spicy rating.  You get a choice of 1 through 5, and I would recommend staying at or below 3 unless you consider yourself fireproof.
Highlight: As a big fan of sarcastic banter, I just loved the the side serving of sass that our waitress gave us.  Suffices to say, she was hysterical.

My meal at Khun Daeng also reminded me that we're very lucky diners in this area when it comes to Thai food.  At this point, I'm aware of 4 or 5 family-owned Thai places, and each one offers an incredibly different experience.  From white table cloth and chic decor to plastic utensils and peeling wallpaper, it's an understatement to say that Michiana offers a wide range of Thai dinning options - varying version of great food and distinctive character.  While this is only our second review of a local Thai restaurant, keep an eye out for upcoming posts on our other favorite southeast-Asian eateries.  In the comments, tell us about Thai places that we just have to try.

1 comment:

  1. You have to try Bangkok in Town & Country. Menu's appear to be very similar. There's a dish called Rambo on both menus.