Ricky Thai Bistro
Name: Julio Mejia
Lives In:North Miami
Restaurant Pick: Ricky Thai Bistro
Reviewed: Ricky Thai Bistro
Ricky Thai Bistro is located at a small shopping plaza with parking and entrance in the rear. My wife and I arrived pretty early for dinner so we didn’t have to wait to be seated. The appetizer was nicely seasoned and the beverages arrived quickly. The entrees were both fresh and delicious, especially the Thai Chili Fish special and the presentation was fun. The décor is casual and colorful and the restaurant is very comfortable, you can have long conversations and enjoy the company.
Name: Ami Gavarian
Lives In: Dania Beach
Restaurant Pick: The Federal
Reviewed: Ricky Thai Bistro
We pulled into the parking lot behind the strip mall where Ricky Thai Bistro was located and walked in from the back door to find a small, quaint and inviting restaurant that was nearly packed on a weekday at 7:30 at night… a good sign! Our waiter immediately attended to my mother’s dietary restrictions, explaining in detail the ingredients in each dish and even the sauces. Our food was good but not great. The green papaya salad was overdressed, which made the otherwise crispy shreds of papaya limp and lifeless. The veggie spring rolls were crispy but forgettable. My mother had the tofu in Thai basil sauce, which was the freshest and boldest flavor of any dish we ordered. My duck curry was flavorful, but the duck was a little dry and the curry was not as spicy as I had hoped (or asked) for. The dessert – Thai doughnuts – were good (fried bread with sugar is always good), but left a slightly odd aftertaste, perhaps from the condensed milk lying underneath the doughnuts. Overall, Ricky Thai Bistro seems like a solid choice if you’re in the neighborhood and craving the exotic flavors of Thailand, but not worth the drive from out of town, as there are plenty comparable (and better) Thai places throughout South Florida.
Name: Yalda Nematzadeh
Lives In: Hollywood
Restaurant Pick: Kababi Cafe by Kuluck
Reviewed: Kababi Cafe by Kuluck
I used my GPS to get there, which means I was able to see it from the street but I couldn’t access it as the entrance and parking are located in the rear. As I was heading west, I thought I would simply make a right and another right and be in the back, but the street is located on a one way, so you have to go around another block. As someone who is terrible with directions (and frequently misses turns) and loves good ethnic food, small extra steps like this never seem to bother me. As I parked and walked up to the entrance, I noticed the kitchen door propped open by a box covered in Thai writing and my eyes caught burlap sacks and boxes of Thai goodies. It felt authentic and promising. I walked in and was told I could sit wherever I liked, there was a bar to the left and tables and chairs to the right. I chose the right and took a seat at a table with nothing on it; until a second later when I looked up and saw water and flatware had been dropped off by a ninja, disguised as a busboy, whose swift entrance and ability to disappear was worth noting.
I was greeted by my server and given time to look over the menu and the chance to ask any questions. I started by ordering a Papaya Salad and requesting Thai mild spiciness, which usually works for me in Thai joints, but didn’t here. The server explained that mild is mild (no spicy) and medium is Thai medium which is pretty spicy. I didn’t want no spicy, so I put my big girl pants on and went for the medium. I also ordered a Tom Kha Kai soup, also medium spicy. The papaya salad was so well balanced I couldn’t believe it! I am obsessed with Tom Sum and I always order it in when I see it on a menu, in addition to making it frequently and regularly at home. In mine, one flavor is always more pronounced than another, and while it always tastes good—it never tastes this balanced. I loved that they were not afraid to go heavy on the fish sauce— making every bite an umami bomb; so good. The only thing that was slightly peculiar to me was that there were no shrimp of any kind in the salad. At home, mine always includes dried shrimp and in restaurants I’m used to fresh.
The Tom Kha Kai soup was phenomenal. I kept slurping it up and trying to play the “what is that?” game. I guessed lemongrass, kefir lime, coconut milk, chili oil, cilantro; so many bright and lively flavors came through and so strongly, the chicken was not tender or dried out, it was cooked perfectly. The spiciness of both the salad and the soup ended up being right at the brink of my threshold, which was splendid. For entrée(s), I eventually settled on the Basil Seafood instead of the Volcano Seafood and the Duck Curry. The server warned me that the Volcano seafood was very sweet, describing the sweetness as Chinese restaurant duck sauce or sweet Thai chili spring roll dipping sauce. I hesitated when he mentioned the two comparable sauces because that would have been way too sweet for me. Although later, I couldn’t help but wonder if the spiciness would have been balanced by the sweetness and how it would have tasted. Luckily, I loved the dishes I ordered and quickly forgot about what the Volcano seafood was or wasn’t.
The basil in the Basil Seafood added floral notes that were heavenly. And the calamari in the seafood was scored & tender and thankfully not the slightest bit rubbery. It was delightful. One small note worth mentioning, the three mussels which were situated on the edge of the Seafood basil plate so as not to be submerged in the sauce, were, and it pains me to mention this: cold. I quickly and easily forgave them, but I didn’t forget. That is until I took a bite of the Duck Curry and forgot everything, including my name. Crispy Duck served with curry on the side so it doesn’t get soggy— it was genius! And it worked! And it tasted incredible! I skipped Thai donuts, which was the only dessert on the menu. Thai donuts just don’t appeal to me; I’d rather eat more ‘food’. Plus, I didn’t want to lose the flavors lingering in my mouth from the delicious meal I just ate. Nice to meet you Ricky Thai, and see you again soon!
Location: 1617 NE 123 Street, North Miami, FL 33181
Type of Cuisine: Traditional Thai
Accommodations for Children: Yes