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Thai Basil

In a word: The Thai of your life.

The specs: #0659
6714 Raymond Rd., Madison
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Ruppert Food Blog, Insider Pages, Yahoo! Travel, Yelp, The Sunday Chef; listing at Eat Drink Madison; official web site, Thai Basil on Urbanspoon

Latest Thai Basil news and reviews

JM ate the shrimp pad thai.
Nichole ate the beef larb with salad rolls.
The bill was $27, or $13.50/person, plus tip.
JM gave a Thai Basil an A-; Nichole gave Thai Basil an A (see our grading rubric).

Thai Basil on Raymond Road is a gem. Their dinner menu has lots of Thai favorites, from drunken noodles to the wickedly named "Evil Jungle Noodle." The lunch menu is an abridged version, with 16 popular dishes plus rice and an egg roll starting at $7.

We called ahead to place our dinner order, and it was waiting for us when we arrived at the strip mall storefront even though we had sped right over. The seating capacity of the dining room is probably 4, but would have been a pleasant place to wait, brightly decorated and lit, and the staff was super friendly.

Thai Basil

The beef larb used chopped, thin slices instead of ground beef, and fresh red onions, scallions, mint and cilantro. The dish was hot as it was supposed to be from judicious use of red pepper flakes, and was moistened by lime and its own juices (as opposed to drowning in them). The leftover sauce was so good we wished we'd not forgotten to order sticky rice*. A side of flawless alabaster cabbage leaves was cut into the perfect size for scooping/pinching up the solids but missed the sauce.

The "salad roll" of more cabbage strips, carrots, and toasted tofu was tucked expertly into a double jacket of spring roll wrapper and a cool green lettuce leaf. It came with a side of peanut sauce.

The pad thai was reliable and tasty with standard shrimp. The side/garnish of shredded vegetables and the crumbled peanuts were very nice and everything was fresh.

Granted, these are two of our favorite dishes, but they were so conscientiously done that we'll be back for more.

*A later visit confirmed some stuff: 1) sticky rice is not on the menu per se but if you ask for it plain, and not sweetened as for their mango dessert, you can get it, and this is interesting; 2) the tom yum is redolent with fresh ginger and the egg rolls are small and precision-rolled; and 3) the menu has changed recently (tip of the pen to MM).

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Anyone know if the owners changed since it was Thai Orchid back a few years?

Yes. Different owners. I may have to give this place another try. I live nearby and picked up an order of Pad Thai after they first opened. I wasn't impressed with the dish and thought it was a bit expensive for what I got, but people do seem to lke it. I really liked Thai Orchid and was sad to see it go.

I'm pretty sure Thai Orchid is now called Curry in the Box, it was bought out. I used to order from Thai Orchid all the time. I would always get the green curry, jungle curry or yellow onion curry. For the first few months, it was made poorly at Curry in the Box. After taking a break from in for a few months, I went back and it was the same as it always was, if not better. I remember talking to the Thai Orchid original owner, and he said he sold the place to help put a girl through college, or something of the sort. I think he's the one that owns Thai Basil right now. I could be wrong though, but I do know Curry in the Box is almost the exact same as Thai Orchid from the menu items I used to buy.

I used to order Pad Thai from Thai Orchid also. I only had it once before being Curry in the Box, but it seamed the same to me.

They also have quite a few (more Indian dishes) that I never remember seeing on the Thai orchid site. I think they might have combined it with another business similar to Thai Orchid.

Curry in a Box was started by a former employee of Curry in a Hurry - I don't think there's any connection to Thai Orchid.

I stand corrected. I just remembered that one of my co-workers is related to the people who own Curry in a Box. They were, in fact, formerly from Curry in a Hurry - but they also owned Thai Orchid. He said they sold Thai Orchid a couple of years ago.

This Thai Basil is not the same owners as it was last year. They no longer sell the Shrimp Purse, which was one of the best things on the menu.

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