Jim Abajian and his wife, Patsorn, made their first connection over Thai food: they met at the Thai restaurant she ran in Washington, D.C. where Jim was a frequent customer. So when they moved to Golden, it didn't take long for them to spot a gap in the market. "We realized that Golden doesn't have a Thai restaurant," Jim explains. "She was very close friends with the chef she was working with in D.C., and she convinced him to come out here and open a restaurant."
The couple named their future restaurant Thai Gold before they secured a lease, confident that they'd score an address in the city where they also live. And when the old building that once housed a Tony Rigatoni's became available, they jumped on it and inked a deal. "We were lucky that the place opened up," says Jim. "It's a 104-year-old building, and we were able to get it geared toward a Thai restaurant, which was pretty complex. Thai food requires a massive amount of heat" and a lot of energy just to power the wok range.
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The couple's chef, Vipa, who, like Patsorn, hails from Bangkok, helped engineer the kitchen, which the Abajians remodeled while preserving the history of the building, leaving the original woodwork and fireplaces.
Just over two weeks ago, the team unveiled Thai Gold with a menu full of traditional Thai dishes, including curries, noodles and fried rice. "We do one thing, and we do it well: Thai food," says Jim. "We're not trying to integrate other styles." He does note, though, that Vipa's pad thai is worth seeking out. "It's one of our favorites," he says.
Here's a taste of what you can expect: