I stopped ordering pad thai after I realized that bland, sweet flavor I kept tasting in there was ketchup. Unlike Ronald Reagan, I think ketchup has its place—and it's not in my Thai food. Thank God the folks at Thai Tom haven't felt inclined to Americanize their offerings. The pad thai here is decidedly not sweet. In fact, I think the only flavor these people have ever heard of is spicy. Their spicy barometer runs from one to five stars—if you can eat anything on the menu above two stars without falling off your seat, I commend you. Extra points if you can name the bad American pop song recast as a tinny Thai pop song and played full blast over the speakers. If you sit at the counter, you'll have to avoid flying grease from the grill and cram elbow to elbow with the other sweating customers, but that's a small price to pay for watching the genius chef gracefully manipulating seven burners simultaneously. This guy moves so fast, I'm amazed you can see him at all. Nothing on the menu is over $7 and it's all incredible. Go at lunch time and you might just get a seat.

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