Sen Thai Asian Bistro
1221 Locust St. St. Louis, MO 63109
Price Range: $10-15
You may be thinking to yourself, who do these guys think they are, telling us about yet another Thai restaurant? You have a point there. St. Louis has no shortage of decent Thai places. We’re fans of all the Thai places on the Loop, except for Thai Pizza Company. Yet, in Sen Thai Asian Bistro, we have found something a bit different. Sen offers food as tasty as that at Thai Country Cafâ€š but in a more sophisticated atmosphere and with a more elegant presentation.
Spring rolls or summer rolls are a good way to start off your meal at any Thai joint. We sampled both the veggie spring rolls and the shrimp summer rolls. The spring rolls were average, but the summer rolls, served on a colorful bed of cabbage, were a tad more interesting. The flavor, while appealing, however, could have used a bit more punch to it.
Our entrâ€šes were the highlight of the evening, and had lots of flavor to make up for what our appetizers lacked. One simple entrâ€še we tried was the pineapple fried rice, one of the many vegetarian options on the menu. This generous portion of rice was packed full of egg, small cubes of fresh pineapple and other assorted vegetables.
Next we sampled the pad cashew. We are not sure what pad means in the Thai language, but we’re fairly certain that it translates to something like “crazy-delicious.” This tasty dish consisted of mushrooms, broccoli, lots of crunchy cashews and beef tossed in a tangy brown sauce. It was served with a mound of jasmine rice. Although it was fairly simple compared to the other offerings on the menu, the pad cashew was professionally executed and something that we would definitely try again on our next visit.
Another outstanding plate was the drunken noodles, pad kee mao. This meal consisted of onions, peppers and wheat noodles tossed in a spicy (but not too spicy) sauce. The delicious wheat noodles set the pad kee mao apart. Their consistency was just right. They absorbed the sauce but also managed not to get soggy. Don’t worry, there’s no actual alcohol in this dish. It’s officially substance-free for all you nervous freshman.
Another thing that made this experience memorable was the friendly and attentive service we got. Our server was young, energetic and eager to discuss the menu with us. We asked him about a few items on the menu and he answered very honestly. We were treated with a brand of hospitality that we thought was reserved for the king of Siam.
The atmosphere complemented the quality service. Deep hues of orange with gold accents cover the walls. We especially liked the two huge psychedelic elephants painted on Sen’s back wall.
One word of warning before you head out to this downtown spot – some of this restaurant’s “vegetarian” dishes will not be appropriate for many vegetarians. One entrâ€še in particular was advertised as vegetarian but featured a ground chicken sauce. We’re not sure what that’s all about.
Not every dish is fantastic at Sen Thai Bistro, but we found a couple that really stood out. If you have a hankering for some Thai food, but you’re also looking for a new, more cosmopolitan place to try, then Sen Thai Bistro should be a perfect fit.
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