Panita Thai Kitchen

Photo by Kaitlyn Posa, Contributing Writer

Name: Panita Thai Kitchen
Overall Rating: 4.5 stars
Location: 1043 Greenwood Ave. NE Atlanta
Neighborhood: Virginia Highlands
Phone: (404) 888-9228
Cuisine: Thai
Hours: 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Alcohol Availability: Yes
Walk-ins: Yes
Reservations: Yes

Atmosphere:
The restaurant’s entrance is an arch covered with ivy. As you enter, you can’t help but notice the various trinkets and knick-knacks covering the walls and ceilings which are reminiscent of an antique shop. Several Buddhas sit atop a shelf, and curtains made of shells hang near the screen windows. The main seating area has the feel of a café, as the screen windows allow for fresh air. However, there is a small, fully-indoor section where bigger parties can be served. Overall, the restaurant has a free-spirited and quirky ambiance (this place is for you, hipsters). The shell curtains and Buddha statues were judged authentic by Panyachote Ketyungyoenwong, a native of Bangkok, but that is where the authenticity of the atmosphere ends. The French music playing softly in the background also adds a certain idiosyncratic flair to the place. The two owners, natives of Thailand, double as the chefs and servers and have run the restaurant for 17 years. The food is presented wonderfully in cleverly carved pineapples and watermelons with garnish (such as a whole apple soaked in red curry). The service was very prompt and helpful, although the restaurant was not busy at the time.

Food Review:
Our first restaurant choice was a success! All of the food served was delicious and flavorful. The average rating for the food was 4.4 out of 5 stars. Our Emory native food reviewer is a freshman from Bangkok, Thailand, named Panyachote Ketyungyoenwong. The food was judged to be authentic overall. The only difference was the presentation of the food, which he enjoyed nevertheless. The Pad See Ew and Massaman Chicken were delectable and completely authentic. The Lad Nah was fairly authentic and intensely flavorful, however, the sauce had a different flavor than traditional Thai Lad Na. In Honor of the King was a complete surprise to us, as it is not specifically a Thai dish but seems to be a mixture of Thai and Indian flavors. Everyone was incredibly satisfied with their meals. An overall favorite was the incredible Ginger Thai Iced Tea. The main portions were a good size and allowed for some leftovers.

Food Ordered:
Drinks: Thai Ginger Iced Tea: A cool, sweet Thai tea with milk.

Appetizers:
Chicken Satay: Two strips of marinated grilled chicken served in a sweet and sour peanut sesame sauce.
Thai Fish Cakes: Ground fish mixed with light spices and red curry paste, deep-fried and served with a sweet and sour sauce.

Main Dishes:
Pad See Ew: Sautéed rice noodles topped with broccoli, egg and a choice of beef, pork, chicken or shrimp.
Lad Nah: Sautéed rice noodles topped with broccoli, sweet and spicy gravy and a choice of beef, pork, chicken or shrimp.
Massaman Chicken: A signature Thai curry. Cut chicken cooked with authentic Massaman curry paste, Bermuda onion, coconut milk, pineapple chunks, peanuts and Thai herbs, garnished with a golden potato.
In Honor of the King: Marinated and tender boneless chicken breast, pan-fried. The chicken is doused in red curry, fresh Thai herbs, Julienne lime leaves, coriander leaves, cucumber sauce and several peppers. Served with garnishes of tomato and lemon.

– By Kaitlyn Posa, Contributing Writer

Thai Authenticity Judge: Panyachote Ketyungyoenwong