Ruthai’s Thai Kitchen

by Bryan on September 24, 2009

SignRuthai’s Thai Kitchen is a little mom & pop Thai place in Mt. Lookout square. We have been going to this restaurant since it opened. Initially we went because it was closer than Teak, and we could walk to it. But it did not take long to get hooked on the spring rolls, tasty entrees, and friendly staff.

When we first started going, Ruthai’s consisted only of the half containing the kitchen. The part with the Sushi Bar was a little wine shop.  Here is a picture of the “new” addition with Sushi Bar:

Dinning Room

Ruthai’s is one of the few places in town that I have trouble picking an entree. Most places, I know what I am going to eat before I walk through the door, here it is a struggle. I recently went to Ruthai’s with friends Neil and Tony for lunch. Of course the first thing is always a spring roll:

Spring Roll

You have to request the Sriracha, but they always have it at the sushi bar. My dilemma was which entree to choose. My favorites are:

  • Chili Beef (Sriracha in the sauce… sensing a trend?)
  • Cashew Chicken (I used to request that they add pineapple, now it is officially part of the entree, coincidence?)
  • Massaman Curry
  • Pineapple Fried Rice

This day I went with Pineapple Fried rice. I would latter learn that preparing these posts at night has its down side when you start craving the pictured item:

Pineapple Fried Rice

Tony, a far more adventurous eater, went with the bento box:


The meal, as always, was delicious. This is my favorite Thai in the city by a pretty wide margin. I have recommended this place to many folks, and the only time I received negative feedback was someone who thought their entrees were a little too sweet. Thai food is a balance of Sweet, Sour, and Spice. I have had sweeter Thai food, and never thought Ruthai’s was unusually sweet. Then again, the criticism was from a guy who brought his own Habanero pepper to cut up into his spaghetti at Arnold’s.

On the heat scale, I think it is safe to say that they gear the heat level for American palates. They don’t use a 10-point scale like many Thai restaurants, and I find the “Hot” to be about a 4-5 on the Teak scale. So if you like it really hot make sure you let them know.

Like every Thai place in town, Ruthai’s offers Sushi (if you missed them in the bento box). I can’t vouch for it first-hand, but my wife is a fan, and I have not heard anything negative about it. Also, they have no liquor license, so if you want beer or wine it is BYOB.

I have to be upfront, I really like the owners Tim and Ruthai. They are incredibly nice folks. So you may question my objectivity. However, since I only know them because they hooked me on their food and service, I think this fact informs my review more than invalidates it. And Tim is an unrepentant UK Wildcat fan, and I still have nice things to say about him.

You can look up their menu and information at Parking can be challenge on the square, but it is worth the effort for this restaurant.

With this review I am adding a feature to the site. The pFav… yes I am going to run the “pF” into the ground. There is not much objective criteria for this label, but I will try to explain why I identify something as a pFav. Ruthai’s earns this because:

  • Great Food
  • Great Service
  • Friendly folks
  • Comfortable atmosphere
  • They serve Coke… that’s important to me.

Ruthai's Thai Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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