BELLINGHAM - With three Thai restaurants already well-established in the Samish Way area near Western Washington University, the owners of Thai House on Telegraph Road have decided to add an outlet at Viking Plaza to help meet the demand in this part of town.
Viking Plaza is a small strip mall that is off the beaten path for many, tucked in just southwest of REI and Sehome Village at the corner of 32nd Street and Fielding Avenue. It is home to Mi Casa Restaurant and a Valero gas station, among other things.
Thai House Express is a no-frills eatery, seeming to emphasize take-out customers. But there is plenty of seating if you don't want to dine at home or office. While the menu may be less extensive than some other local Thai establishments, you'll find most of the old standbys here, and just about everything on the main-dish menu is in the $8-$9 range.
Why eat here instead of one of the other Thai restaurants nearby? I'm not sure what to say. I love Thai food and have enjoyed my meals at all of them, although each one has its opinionated partisans.
One solid reason to check out Thai House Express would be the green curry, the standout dish during our recent Thai House Express visit. I generally prefer red curries, but this green one was complex and rich, and I plan to go back and eat it again soon.
The $8.95 combo meals are a great deal here. We chose one combo that included the aforementioned green vegetable curry, plus chicken phad Thai, and a second one with kaprao (basil) chicken, a fried egg, and phad Thai noodles. Both combos ordinarily come with crab Rangoon, but that was not available for our visit. We got kanom-jeeb dumplings instead and were quite content with them.
The phad Thai has that sweet, sour and tangy taste that is addictive to Thai food lovers, with a wonderful smoky overtone that not every Thai kitchen manages to achieve.
The kaprao chicken was also satisfying - a milder dish with green beans and bell pepper set against the alluring, subtle backdrop of Thai basil.
You also can get two other $8.95 combo choices, one with green or red chicken curry and rice noodles, the other with fried rice with egg and curry.
Thai House Express probably will do a good business serving residents of nearby apartment buildings who are close enough to walk in.
THAI HOUSE EXPRESS
Address: 505 32nd St., Viking Plaza, Bellingham.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Price range: $8-$9.
Reach John Stark at 360-715-2274 or email@example.com.