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Thai Palace (Closed)

308 W. Edmond Rd.
Edmond, OK

Thai Palace in Edmond

It is not often I find Thai restaurants comparable to those found in Seattle, but this is one (to me it tastes a lot like Bai Tong near the SeaTac airport). This is an immaculately clean place with excellent food, made to order. If you want it prepared a certain way or with certain ingredients, just ask. I think the 80+ menu items are just a starting point from which you can begin to create your own Thai concoctions. Each dish is individually prepared, and it does not seem to take any longer to prepare a special order than to serve something from the menu.

I used to say that prices were higher than normal, but they now seem to be in line with what most restaurants charge. The recent trend in the OKC metro seems to be more toward the quality and authentic type of Thai food served at Thai Palace, and in my mind this is a good thing. I have just found some special dishes at Thai Palace, though, and some special ways Nick prepares the food, that I think make it the best restaurant in the area for authentic Thai food.

Thai Palace's lunch 'buffet'
Thai Palace's lunch "buffet"

Before opening Thai Palace, Nick was co-owner of Sala Thai on N.W. 23rd Street, and his former restaurant was one of my favorites in the city. Nick brought the "lunch buffet" with him (which is actually your choice of three items) as well as much of the food now served at Thai Palace. Lunch specials are served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and this is a very popular feature of the restaurant.

Selecting from the menu, though, offers many items that I think are not served anywhere else in the city. Most items I have tried at Thai Palace have been the best I have experienced in the Oklahoma City area, so it is sometimes hard to choose between plates I know I like and ones that are new to me and I am not likely to find in other restaurants. Usually about every other visit I get something I have had before that I know is one of my favorites.

It would be pretty hard for me to select one or two favorite dishes at Thai Palace, since I have been very impressed with everything I have tried. I do not claim to have tried all 80 dishes listed on the menu, but I have sampled enough to know that the food compares with the best Thai food I have had elsewhere. Nick, the owner and chef, has been very good about making suggestions that fit my tastes, and I think many regular customers rely on him for advice. If there is something you normally consider to be your favorite dish, though, I would say you probably cannot go wrong ordering it at Thai Palace.

Pad thai
Pad thai

One of Thai Palace's signature dishes is Pad Thai, and trying it confirmed that it was something special. It seems that every Thai restaurant features this dish, and I have tried quite a few around the country. The one at Thai Palace seemed to have everything right that make up the elements of this noodle dish. It had such a good balance of flavor and texture that I believe the pad thai at Thai Palace is a classic example of the way the dish should taste. It was excellent partly because of the things it did not have such as noodles that stick together or a bland taste. I know that some restaurants use a red sauce made with tamarind that can be good, but I thought the one here was better (and was the way I usually think of pad thai with a brown color). The one pictured was with tofu, and it was even more impressive to me that the noodles had so much flavor that it did not matter whether they came with shrimp or meat. I do not know all the ingredients Nick uses, but I can truly say this is one of the best pad thai dishes I have tried (and possibly the best). If you like it spicy Nick prepares it with three stars out of five, but I really think it would be quite good with fewer stars or even no stars (although there are condiments available so each person can add their own chiles).

Pad prig khing
Pad Prig Khing in a curry without coconut milk

Pad Prig Khing is normally one of my favorite dishes, and one of the first I try at any Thai restaurant. I will say, though, that the one here had a higher taste and complexity level than I have found in most other restaurants. The fresh green beans and tofu were high quality, but the curry (made without coconut milk) was the outstanding feature of the dish at Thai Palace. It seems to have even more flavor when I order it as spicy as I can stand it, which is another feature I find with this dish at many of the better Thai restaurants.

Pad khing
If a restaurant's Pad Khing looks like this they know what they are doing

The Pad Khing, stir-fried meat or tofu with onions, vegetables, and ginger, is one of the best versions of this dish anywhere. At many restaurants this dish is quite sweet, and although I like it this way, Thai Palace's version is more complex with subtle flavors, the right amount of spices, and just enough sweetness to offset the other flavors.

Pad kra pao
Pad kra pao with tofu

The Pad Kra Pao, made with tofu in garlic sauce with hot basil and onions, is also among my favorites. I know that just about anything at Thai Palace could be called one of my "favorites," but I really recommend anything made with basil.

Spicy hot basil
Spicy hot basil

Spicy Hot Basil is another dish made with hot basil, and another that I would recommend. Most basil dishes in Thai restaurants are made with sweet basil, which is easier to obtain in the U.S. The hot basil, though, has a flavor that I think many Thai food lovers will appreciate, and Thai Palace is one of the few places where I have found the "real deal."

Clay pot tofu
Clay pot tofu

The Clay Pot Tofu, made with sesame oil, had a slight sweet taste and was quite interesting. I am a big fan of Chinese clay pot tofu, but the one here was arguably even better. It can be made to the desired spice level, and I found that adding the prik nam pla condiment (fish sauce with chiles) not only increased the spice level but also improved the flavor. The tofu was very good, and it came with three kinds of mushrooms (normally I am not a big fan of mushrooms, but these were definitely worthwhile).

Red curry with vegetables
Red curry with eggplant and vegetables

Nick wanted me to try the Red Curry, and the surprise was not that it was good, but that the eggplant and vegetables made it more interesting than the curry dishes I normally find. Like all the food here, I really have no way of knowing how authentic it is, but the fact that the flavor combinations continue to surprise me makes me think this is the way people in Thailand must eat.

Green curry with eggplant
Green curry with eggplant

The Green Curry with Eggplant was a type of curry I did not like as much as the red, and this may be an example of a Thai food that was not as appetizing when it was more authentic. Nick's food is not as sweet as at many Thai restaurants, and in most cases I think the more authentic version is better. In the case of the green curry, though, I thought it needed some kind of seasoning that I have found at other restaurants that I did not find here.

Soups are very good, as would probably be expected at any Thai restaurant. The coconut chicken soup, or Taom Kar Gai, is about as flavorful as any that I have tried.

Taom yam pla
Taom yam pla

Taom Yam Pla was a very flavorful fish soup with red snapper cooked in lime juice broth with fresh mushrooms. I generally eat vegetarian meals at Thai Palace because this is one of the few places I can find where they are genuinely good. When I have had meat or fish here, though, it has been of very high quality, such as the red snapper in this soup. In fact, I can think of very few other places in Oklahoma that have fish of the same quality as this restaurant.

Nick provides the "personal touch," preparing each dish himself, and making alterations to the recipe according to your request. I have found this to be the best Thai restaurant in the OKC metro at which to try new dishes. I really think if you do not like a dish here you probably will not like it anywhere.

In 2008 the phone was disconnected but the restaurant has continued operating, so do not worry if you cannot call. Most of the time Nick takes care of everything including cooking, the cash register, and cleaning tables, so he probably figured answering the phone would just create an unnecessary diversion from his other duties.

The fact that Nick cooks everything is why I can say everything here is good. It is not always the speediest restaurant, but I think that is why he offers the lunch specials for those who have limited time. I used to eat the lunch specials at Sala Thai, Nick's old restaurant, and I thought this was a very good introduction to new dishes I had not tried before. In fact, I doubt that there are many places that would be better.

Nick has announced that he plans to retire and close the restaurant on August 18, 2012, so until then I would strongly advise that people take advantage of Thai food with the flavor, quality, and variety that can be found in very few restaurants in the United States.



Cuisine: Thai
Cost: $$
Hours: Closed Sun. & Sat. lunch
Accessible: Yes
Tea: Jasmine (loose leaves)
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: No
Buffet: Lunch

Most Recent Visit
Jul. 18, 2012

Number of Visits: 10+

Best Items
Pad Thai, Pad Kra Pao, Spicy Hot Basil, Pad Prig Khing, Pad Khing, Clay Pot Tofu, Red Curry

Special Ratings
Pad Thai:
Pad Prig Khing:
Pad Khing:
Pad Kra Pao:
Spicy Hot Basil:
Clay Pot Tofu:
Red Curry with Vegetables:
Green Curry with Eggplant:
Taom Yam Pla:
Cashew Chicken:
Taom Kar Gai: