I’ve passed the sign for Racha about a gajillion times in my life. For some reason it didn’t seem right that it was a ‘real’ Thai restaurant. Having grown up loving Siam on Broadway and moved on to the late Thai Dusit (housed in a former KFC) and now coveting Vieng Thong, it seemed wrong to me that here in the middle of fancy pants Queen Anne, with a big pretty sign would be a ‘real’ Thai restaurant.
I think part of the problem is that I don’t have a definition of ‘real’ in pertinance to Thai restaurants. I won’t claim that Siam is authentic, yet to me it is what I want out of a Thai restaurant (not, I repeat, NOT the one on Lake Union, though). So I came in to Racha expecting something a little like the Siam on Lake Union. Too big, trying too hard to be fancy and not hard enough to be good. From the outside the building is non-descript, but stepping inside was an experience. At the host stand was the specials, actually cooked and sitting on display. Off to one side were two older Thai women furiously making some sort of crepe, like the women making dumplings in the front window of restaurants in New York’s Chinatown.
Sitting down I immediately noticed that they were serving my current favorite brand of beer, Laughing Buddha, and I ordred up a pint of the Pandan Ale. The fresh rolls we split as an appetizer were pretty average and the peanut sauce unremarkable.The menu is large and unwieldly, difficult to nail down just what you want to order. My friend and I decided on splittling a Summer Fire Prawn curry and a tofu phad thai. All of the food that came to the table was quite good. It wasn’t, of course, Vieng Thong, but it was certainly Thai Dusit level. High quality. The portions were definetly single serving, which is a little strange for me, considering I’m used to eating Thai food family style. I appreciated that they had sticky rice, my current obsession, though it was a little over steamed, losing some of the stickiness.
Overall it was a good meal. I would return again, assuming someone else is paying, because the main difference between Racha and the Thai food I’m used to? The price.