Rating: *how we rate restaurants
Rated #1 Affordable Thai in West Maui
In a nutshell: Reasonably priced, big menu, eat-in/take-out/BYOB Thai joint.
Minuses: It can get crowded.
Sound-bite: “Around da back, brah!”
Frequently packed with regulars (and visitors in the know.) Decent Thai food at affordable prices.
While I definitely wouldn't call it a "take-out-joint", they do plenty of take-out business. Thai Chef is a small, quaint, inexpensive family-owned restaurant. Focused on catering to the local residents, the atmosphere is cozy, and most definitely not touristy.
The service here is fast and friendly. All the staff usually act as a team, so one being bogged down won't slow the food coming out to your table.
Thai Chef has won many readers-choice and critic awards & accolades over the years, including as recently as this year (2010.)
Now, if you're looking for fancy-schmancy metropolitan ambiance, or a high-end resort themed joint, this isn't it. A peppering of online reviewers complained about silly things like the style of the flooring, the bathroom location (outside), or were wrapped around pretense that the cuisine isn't world-class like [insert all the Thai joints they like in their home town.] Please, Mr. Pretentious, get a grip - this is an inexpensive take-out/eat-in/BYOB Thai joint - walking in here expecting elegant ambiance or sophisticated culinary excesses is your "faux pas", not Thai Chef's.
Now, on to the food! In a word: delicious! Standards like Pad Thai and hot & sour soup are really a treat - but you can certainly feel free to explore. Crab yellow curry and Thai red pineapple curry are delish. Check out their extensive menu (links to photos above.) Oh, and when they say "hot" they *really* mean it. (Most folks who like hot food will be well satisfied ordering medium-spicy.)
Thai Chef also has an extensive vegetarian menu, and since they make the food to order, they can substitute tofu, or otherwise make virtually any of the dishes without meat.
The location is a bit off the main drag, and has been reported difficult to find by those who haven't been there before. Hint: go around to the rear of the complex (it is not on the Front Street side as the address suggests.)
Other Reviews: *ordered by accuracy
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