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Choochai Thai Restaurant

2330 19th St.
Lubbock, TX
(806) 747-1767

Before I became well-versed in Asian cuisine I had eaten at several Thai restaurants in the Southwest, but the first "real" Thai food I sampled was in Auburn, Washington. When I ate at Choochai in Lubbock near Texas Tech, it was the first Thai food I had tried in the Southwest that tasted like the food on the west coast. The curry at Choochai was especially flavorful-- not "watered down" like many I had sampled.

Choochai's Today (which closed sometime after 2003) was a branch of the same restaurant with a larger dining area located on the west side of Lubbock. I mention the branch because most of my later dining experiences were there instead of the original restaurant, and I think to a great extent my observations about both restaurants can be combined into a single review. I estimated that I made about eight visits to Choochai's Today and four to the original restaurant.

Both restaurants served the same curries which could be ordered by number from photographs hanging on the wall. I am not sure whether Choochai's Today actually had a larger menu than the other restaurant, but I used my visits there to explore other items besides curry.

At Choochai's Today experience was enhanced by ordering the hot and sour soup or (fried) spring rolls, although this brought it out of the range of one of the most affordable Asian restaurants in Lubbock to a moderate one. These were very good appetizers, however, and highly recommended.

Ginger Tofu is one of my favorite dishes, but the one at Choochai's Today was not one of the best versions I have tried.

The Curry was much better at the original Choochai-- I think it was purposely made more Americanized at Choochai's Today. Perhaps this was one reason the branch restaurant did not succeed, but in any case I have always found Choochai on 19th Street to be one of the best places I have ever found for authentic, delicious tasting curries (that can be as spicy as customers desire).

What is not offered at Choochai (that was available at Choochai's Today) is table service-- you order at the counter and either take it to your table or take it home. The menu at Choochai also seems somewhat limited compared to what I remember at Choochai's Today (but all the standard Thai dishes are available). I am not sure if the ginger tofu (pad khing) is even available at Choochai, but in any case my experience was that it was not as good as the curries.

The curry at Choochai was about as good as I have had anywhere. Although good curry and good Thai food in general is more common in the Southwest than it used to be, I still think Choochai is about the best I can remember. My visits were so many years ago I cannot remember whether I liked the red, green, or yellow curry the best, but I am sure they are all good.



Cuisine: Thai
Cost: $$
Hours: Closed Mon. dinner
Tea: Jasmine (bags)
Smoking: No Smoking
Buffet: No

Most Recent Visit
May 24, 2002

Number of Visits: 4

Best Items
Curry, Fried Spring Roll, Hot and Sour Soup

Special Ratings