Cooking traditional Thai food with a gourmet twist, Yes Thai has garnered quite a local following. Perhaps it's the sunny room with sunflower-yellow walls and big clay pots of plants (that aren't of the plastic variety), or maybe it's the cheerful smiles of the wait staff that lure a crowd. It could be the acoustic music drifting around the room as the bus boy lights the candle sitting in a vase at your table. The whole scene relaxes you way before your noodles arrive.
Though serene, the smaller room doesn't bode well for private conversations, and if you sit outdoors on the sidewalk patio, you may rub elbows with your neighbor. Don't make Yes Thai a date spot, but instead call up a few friends to take advantage of the BYOB policy and talk until the soothing music turns to the rave, electro sounds that start playing around 9 p.m.
Skip the traditional Thai fare and stick to the heavenly house specials. The crunchy pad pink cat fish ($10), covered in thick slices of red pepper, slivers of bamboo, carrots and topped with a sweet, spicy sauce, will make you forget pad thai exists. If you want something a little lighter, order the basil green mussels, plump mussels seated in a bed of greens and covered in a garlic sauce. The large plates tend to overcrowd the tiny tables, but the gigantic portions mean you’ll be the envy of the office when you heat up those leftovers tomorrow.
Tip: The spicy symbol means burning-your-mouth, tears-dripping and blowing-your-nose HOT. So don't be afraid to ask for a medium or mild version of your meal. Should you forget to tame the spice, though, the attentive bus boys will be there to fill up your water about every six minutes.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Maude Standish