The Central West End neighborhood has a new Thai restaurant from the owner behind South Grand mainstay Basil Spice Thai Cuisine. My Thai debuted in July, offering authentic cuisine from central Thailand for lunch and dinner.
Chef-owner Somying Fox originally came to the states to further study education in Oklahoma. After the Thailand native and former teacher relocated to New Orleans for work, she decided to open a restaurant there.
“I fell in love with America and wanted to share Thai culture and Thai food with people here,” Fox says. “Everything was almost set up to open the restaurant, but then Hurricane Katrina hit. My husband and I lost everything and had to start over. We came to St. Louis with one suitcase.”
After settling down in St. Louis, Fox opened Basil Spice in 2008. She also previously owned and operated Sweet Basil Thai Cafe in downtown St. Louis and has served as a partner of The Blue Pearl ever since it reopened under new ownership in 2017.
My Thai fills an approximately 1,400-square-foot space – previously a Great Clips – with 45 seats. The contemporary design features gray and olive-green walls embellished with colorful paintings. The restaurant offers both counter service for guests on the go and table service for dining in.
From the menu, choose from starters such as fried shrimp rolls or pot stickers – crispy dumplings with chicken, onion, bamboo, carrots and garlic. My Thai also features another Basil Spice favorite: pad krapao, or a stir-fried entree with fresh sweet basil, onions, carrots and bell peppers, served with rice and your choice of chicken, pork, beef, shrimp or tofu.
“Basically, this menu is going to be the most popular items from all the experience I have from opening restaurants as well as some of my personal favorites,” Fox says. “Once in a while, we’ll have creative specials too.”
Dishes at My Thai also have slight differences from their Basil Spice counterparts in order to offer a unique experience. Drunken Noodles, for instance, feature the addition of white wine to a base of spicy basil sauce. A completely new offering is American fried rice with egg, peas, carrots, onion, raisins and a fried egg.
“We might be the only restaurant in the states that sells this,” Fox says with a laugh. “This is a really popular dish in Thailand. When I grew up, I always ate American fried rice, and when I came here, I thought I could get the authentic version. I once took a lot of my American friends to Thailand, and it was the first thing they saw on the menu. They were so curious that they all ordered it. I understood then that it never existed in America.”
Drink options at My Thai include Thai coffee and Thai tea – with or without boba – and Thai beer brands such as Elephant Beer. For dessert, choose from selections such as sweet sticky rice with mango.
“I’m really happy to share my food with customers and get to see their smiles and happiness when they eat our food,” Fox says. “We want to cook them real Thai food and make them feel at home.”
My Thai is open Monday through Saturday 11am to 3pm for lunch and 5 to 9:30pm for dinner.
My Thai, 4495 Forest Park Ave., Central West End, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.833.4404