Bua Thai was the very first Thai restaurant I ever visited. When I first started at Folk Fest five years ago, my boss, who had spent much of the winter in Thailand, took me for lunch. From then on it was difficult to forget the coconut laced sauces and rice, or the perfectly cooked shrimp and sweet noodles. So just before the shop re-opened back in early January, Rachel and I took a break from our errands and walked the couple blocks to Bua Thai for lunch.
When we arrived around 1pm, they were still busy with office workers taking advantage of their lunch specials (there's about eight of them, priced around $13-14) and free parking. Nevertheless we were quickly shown to a two top table close to the kitchen. Ultimately we decided to forgo the lunch menu, opting to share some items from the regular menu - the papaya and carrot salad (Som Tam $10.5), a curry containing shrimp and Thai eggplant (Phat Phed Kung $19.95), and veggie noodles (Phat Thai Jai $13.95).
Our favourite dish of the day ended up being the papaya and carrot salad. It was full of garlic and peanuts, and had a lovely sweet, savoury, spicy balance. We also thoroughly enjoyed the curry, particularly the perfectly cooked shrimp and crunchy eggplant. And the Pad Thai easily satisfied our noodle craving that had started earlier in the day.
While Bua Thai is usually just a summer stop, I'm hoping visits during the rest of the year will be a bit more frequent.
10049 113 Street
Rachel and I are slowly (and I mean slowly) working our way around some of the lunch specials/lunch hours in the area on Mondays when the retail portion of the shop is closed. Last week we stopped at Wild Tangerine for 'Asian Po-boys' ($12-15), and a couple weeks ago, we ventured to Gabbana for their $5 Monday/Tuesday lunch special (unfortunately a let down, with super sweet sauces and a server run off her feet). We've also heard rumours of a $10 lunch special at Cibo that we're hoping to take advantage of soon (they're closed on Mondays which is making a visit difficult). Other suggestions in downtown/Oliver would be much appreciated!