Strip mall Thai never sounds enticing. But most small restaurants in Arizona see existing customer traffic a big plus, so that's what we get. My wife and I have eaten at about 20 Phoenix area Thai restaurants over the last 15 years, and this was (mostly) the best Thai restaurant we've found in the Valley of the Sun.
We visited Smile Thai with friends who live in Tempe, and claimed it was their favorite. Smile Thai has a nice, contemporary atmosphere, and about 15 tables. It was only half-full on a Friday night. Gratefully, they only had one potentially distracting large TV. The volume was turned off, and they were showing a loop of dining experiences in Thailand instead of sports. Smart! Our server was very attentive and responsive, as we had special requests and substitutions... all of which were carefully followed. Our food came out reasonably fast, but not rapid-fire, so we had time to talk (no shouting required), and never felt hurried.
We started with crispy, fresh, large, and flavorful Summer Rolls with shrimp. Excellent sauces. We also got our all-time favorite Thai dish: Tom Kha soup. We ALWAYS like it. But this was the BEST rendition of it we've ever had, anywhere. Lots of tasty mushrooms and chicken, thick, creamy soup base, mild spice level, and no inedible bits. ALL four of us loved it.
For mains, I got a daily special - Red Curry with mango. I've never had curry with mango, but I WILL in the future! Delightful, though a "mild" spiciness, it was pretty spicy. Just about perfect for me, but beware if you're sensitive to heat.
My wife got her favorite, Pad See Eew. At other restaurants, this dish sometimes tastes "canned" and indistinct, but not at Smile Thai. It was crisp and pungent. No overwhelming presence of soy sauce. No heat issues.
Our friends got Yellow Curry and Panang Curry, and loved them. In fact the only disappointment was our shared dessert of sticky rice and sliced mango, one of our regular choices. The white sauce was fine but the rice was overcooked and tough. I guess we should've said something, but we'd been there 1-1/2 hours, and needed to go.
Our total bill, with tax and 20% tip, came to $110. Well worth it.
BTW, we had enough leftovers for two additional meals the next day. Pretty substantial servings... which we love! Who wants to cook on the weekend? Also, they don't serve alcohol. But they don't need to! The dining experience was outstanding.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.