Back in October, when I announced that a new Thai restaurant --Thailicious -- was opening in Edgewater, I also recounted a weird incident that occurred when I came face-to-face with Ramon Garcia, the restaurant's rather odd general manager, whose suspicious nature resulted in an ID check. Garcia, not surprisingly, is no longer at Thalicious, but the restaurant's owner, Nithiwadee (Bee) Anantatho, who couldn't be more gracious, is, as is her husband and chef Surachai Surbotsopon, both of whom are originally from Bangkok but moved to Denver in 2011 to join Surbotsopon's sister-in-law and open a restaurant indicative of their heritage. "I love food, especially Thai food, and when we first moved to Denver, my sister-in-law took me to lots of Thai places, and I realized that there was something missing -- something more special that we could offer to guests," says Anantatho. "We wanted to open a restaurant that was more relaxed and elegant, and we wanted to introduce some Thai dishes that were representative of Bangkok -- dishes that we hadn't seen in Denver," she adds.
To that end, the space is lovely, with tufted velvet banquettes; vivid original artwork, including a hand-painted map of Thailand; hanging baskets that, at one point, were used to capture fish and chicken; wooden picture frames that double as dividers; and a wall stacked with plastic bins brimming with fruits and vegetables. And while they're not real, the display adds a rainbow of bright colors. And the menu follows suit, featuring beautifully presented curries punctuated with bold spices, alongside less familiar dishes like the Thai volcano with chicken and glass noodles glistening with a sauce of sesame, and the kao mok gai, a biryani-style dish with chicken and saffron rice.
In the future, Anantatho plans to conduct cooking classes, and she hopes that the community table, which seats twelve, will encourage friends and strangers to swap stories and share dishes. "We want this to be a place where people can leave work behind and relax, enjoy each other's company and eat the kind of food that we loved when we were in Bangkok," she says.
Thalicious is open daily for lunch and dinner, and there's a liquor license, too, which includes beer, wine and cocktails. Here's a first look at what you can expect.