Thai Ruby Review
Review by Dan Purdon
Anyone who’s familiar with my reviews knows that I love a good Thai place, and here in Utah County we have a huge variety of local Thai purveyors to choose from. Every time I think I have them covered, a brand new one pops up. (Or, as is more often the case, one that’s been there forever but has somehow escaped my notice). Such was the case with Thai Ruby, a wonderful Thai restaurant tucked away in an unassuming location next to BYU. I had heard whispers from local Thai food enthusiasts about such a place, but it wasn’t until last week that I actually saw it with my own eyes. It’s just a few dozen feet off a well-traveled road (the one that passes J-Dawgs and the like), but for some reason I just never saw it back there! My wife and I tried them out for lunch on Saturday.
For some reason, I’m predisposed to not expect much in the way of atmosphere from a restaurant that’s tucked away in a shopping plaza or shared building. But Thai Ruby has it down cold. It’s tasteful, it’s cozy, and it’s rustic in the best sense of the word. Pieces of Thai art decorate the walls without being too cluttered, and a soft glow comes from iron lanterns hanging from the ceiling and attached to pillars throughout the dining area.
Our server (a friendly older Thai gentleman) was quick to bring out our selections of Pad Thai and Pad Kaprow, customized to our heat preferences. (I reluctantly agreed to limit it to “medium”). I also threw on an order of chicken satay to further help the cause of my protein diet.
The satay was simply amazing. I tried it first without the sauce. The grilled chicken strips were savory with a touch of sweet, and cooked to tender perfection. Then I dipped it into the small bowl of peanut sauce and took another bite. It was absolute rapture. I actually have the words written in my notebook: “Now THIS is satay!” The sweet and nutty sauce was absolutely perfect for this tasty treat. I have tried a lot of satay in my day, but this was exceptional.
The pad kaprow was a savory mix of sauteed chicken, peppers, baby corn, onion, bamboo shoots, and sweet Thai basil. The delicious scent of the basil was enough to serve as an appetizer all by itself, and the flavor didn’t disappoint. Everything was cooked just right – tender chicken, soft sauteed onions, and peppers that still have just the right bite of crispness.
For anyone who’s still new to the world of Thai food, Pad Thai is always a good place to start. It’s a tasty foreigner-friendly combo of Thai noodles, fresh veggies, crushed peanuts, lime, and a sweet-savory sauce throughout. It’s filling, it’s fresh, and it’s flavorful! Try it out.
We walked out of Thai Ruby feeling like we had indeed discovered a precious gem that day. Rest assured, next time the Thai mood strikes, we’ll be back!
Pricing: Moderate, $10-15 per person
Thai Ruby – 742 E 820 N, Provo