They were giving away irises at Taste of Thailand the other day -- free to a good home, free to anyone who wanted to take away a little beauty.
I was too late to get one; the cardboard box that had held the plants was empty. But the restaurant was full -- of customers, of employees, of other items for sale. More flowers, handmade paper, little trinkets and gift-shop baubles, croaking frogs made of wood, shiny shorts of the sort worn by Muay Thai fighters. The tiny lobby-slash-souvenir store was crowded with presents and papers, with take-out orders lined up along the low counter; crowded with security guards coming off shift and an ambulance crew about to go on, but wanting a good meal first; crowded with servers sorting through the knot of people waiting for seats in the small dining room next door, servers moving fast, coming and going through the doorway between the lobby and the floor, the floor and the kitchen. The air was heavy with the smell of hot woks and oil and peanuts and garlic. It was prime time at Taste of Thailand - which meant it pretty much could have been any time.
It's flu season, and that's bad. But it's also good, because the coming of flu season means the coming of Flu Shot Soup at Taste of Thailand -- Noy and Richard Farrell's tiny restaurant across the street from Swedish Medical Center. Sure, the kitchen at Taste of Thailand offers plenty of other authentic Thai dishes. But who could possibly turn down an (alleged) cure for the flu at just five bucks a bowl? Especially when it tastes so good?
Feeling fit after my meals at Taste of Thailand, I returned to Thai Lotus in Greenwood Village for another hit of its fantastic (and fantastically odd) roasted chicken, which you can read about in Cafe this week. That's also where you'll find much of Lori Midson's excellent interview with chef Alex Seidel of Fruition -- the rest of which can be found right here in Cafe Society.