By: Caley Ferguson
Although we Pittsburghers are thousands of miles from the mountains and shores of Thailand, we are just around the corner from Smiling Banana Leaf’s door. This little gem of a restaurant not only offers amazing Thai cuisine but also provides wonderful service and a lovely, well-decorated atmosphere. The walls of the restaurant are glazed gold which reflects the flickering light from various candles that dot the dining room. Among the tables and stellar tree trunk benches that line the walls are decorative and plush jewel-toned pillows, various decorative figurines, and several organic elements such as twigs and other plants. The combination of lighting, décor, and friendly service make for a superb dining experience well before meals are even served.
Okay, so the food. It’s absolutely delicious. So good, in fact, that I’d eat at the Smiling Banana Leaf often even if the dining room had the charm of a Subway…in a Wal-Mart. The Red Curry with rice is my favorite meal followed by the Red Curry Noodles, Green Curry (with rice and noodles), and the Pad See Ew. The curries and various other dishes come with the option of meat or veggies and the level of spice. Since I love spicy food but also value the function of my esophagus, I order my dishes at spicy eight or nine. If you’re interested in appetizers or soup, I recommend the Thai Samosa, Shrimp Tempura, and Tom Kha soup. Smiling Banana Leaf is some of the best Thai food that I have ever eaten and has certainly been the best that I’ve tasted since moving to Pittsburgh.
Seriously, you really need to go right now.