Late last week I worked the 4-7 shift at the reference desk. When Ian picked me up I told him we were going to Kingsport because I had to try the new thai restaurant Tomy Thai. It's been there several months. I rarely get to Kingsport. There's not much there. But, Marie has talked it up a bit and I was eager to try it. There was no wait, we got a table and were made happy straight away. The service was superb. The menu was difficult to read. It had a shiny cover which glared with the overhead lighting.
I'm a terrible creature of habit. When I eat Indian I always go for the sag paneer. I've tried other dishes, but nothing is ever so good as that one dish. This is also the case with thai food. My favorite Thai dish is Panang curry. It is divine. That coconut milk and lemongrass with a bit of cilantro and curry... it sends me. Tomy Thai even put kaffir lime leaves in their version. And, I must say, that their panang beats the pants off the panang served at Stir Fry in Johnson City. The quality of food at Stir Fry has steadily declined over the past two years. Tomy Thai is on the upswing, though. Their panang was sweet and spicy and the broth was flavored so subtly that I had no clue what manner of heaven I was eating.
Ian ordered an appetizer, but I've forgotten what it is called. It's not crab rangoon. Perish the thought. He would never eat crab knowingly. There was probably pork inside. And the dip was a sweet and sour honey-hued thing. Another awesome thing about Tomy Thai is that they serve brown rice. Now there are at least two restaurants in the Tr-Cities who serve brown rice. Hurray for brown rice.
It was just my luck that they were out of the coconut ice cream. I cannot pass up anything coconut flavored; it is my favorite, even beats out key lime, of which I am a decades-long fan. Instead, we got the fried ice cream. Ian said it looked like a hush puppy and tasted like a waffle cake. It was just okay. Other than their being out of the dessert I wanted, the experience was pleasant, though I did a little critique on their decor. The walls were deep red and Buddhas and other Thai statuary were well-placed along the walls. The lighting was too bright, though it was not fluorescent; dimming it would help a lot. The problem was the floor. It was tiled with large neutral-toned tiles, but it did not match the aesthetic. I pointed this out to Ian and said that the concrete slab would do better. You've seen those color treatments and stains for concrete? They appear quite trendy and this look would complement TT's decor much better. Oh, then there were the tabletops. From a distance, they appeared dirty. But once I was seated I realized they were black with gold specks reflecting the light. While at the table it was tolerable, but provided the illusion of an unclean surface. Picky, picky: That's me. Then there was the music. I commented to Ian that it was that bland jazzy fusion stuff that one hears in doctor's offices and elevators. He thought it sounded more like music accompanying a porno.