Monday, February 4, 2008


Every so often, my gentle readers provide suggestions of places to go. Recently, I was told of a Thai place in Haltom City. To protect the privacy of the suggestor, I'll assign him a Texas Country Singer's alias. Roger Creager suggested that I try out Sikhay and Nipa. Both are on 28th Street, east of Sylvania. Being the adventurous sort, I went to Sikhay.

Before this past week, I had never actually eaten Thai food. I've always wanted to try it because the cool kids always ate at that little Thai place around the corner. Everywhere you go, there's a little Thai place around the corner. So I wanted to go around that corner. Now, thanks to Roger Creager, I'm a hippie (more on that below).

Sikhay is a Thai/Lao place. I believe this is referring to Thailand and Laos. My friends at the internet have confirmed this. Unfortunately, my only knowledge of Laos comes from King of the Hill, in the episode when Hank is trying to figure out where Kahn is from:

Hank: So are you Chinese or Japanese?
Kahn: I live in California last twenty years, but first come from Laos.
Hank: Huh?
Kahn: Laos. We Laotian.
Bill: The ocean? What ocean?
Kahn: We are Laotian. From Laos, stupid! It's a landlocked country in Southeast Asia. It's between Vietnam and Thailand, okay? Population 4.7 million.
Hank: So, are you Chinese or Japanese
With that in mind, I was excited. My lawyer buddy (same guy I always mention) spent some time overseas and ate a tremendous amount of pad thai so I assume he's as close to an expert as I'll get seeing as how I have no Thai friends. Also, Roger Creager told me Sikhay was the real deal.

Sikhay is at the end of a small strip center and when you walk in, it appears to be a community center with a stage, open floor plan and numerous chairs everywhere. Roger Creager told me he has seen events held in this place but that it is not the official community center of the Thai/Laos/Haltom City crowd.

When the menus came I was pretty excited to see what was offered. Unfortunately, the only things I recognized were pad thai and spring rolls. So I ordered both. The spring rolls came out first and were delicious. If you want a comparison, they were different from Pho Nam's (no full pieces of shrimp), and smaller, but better, in my opinion. They also came with some sort of sauce with peanuts on top. Good stuff, but I couldn't tell you what it was.

I know my ordering sounded easy, but there was some confusion. On one page was the selection of pad thai, on the other, was a selection of an entree called larb. Yum. I just assumed it was llama puke. Turns out that I was close. From my friends back at the internet it appears to be a sort of ceviche with beef/pork/lamb/chicken/fish. Yes, raw beef/pork/lamb/chicken. Apparently the meat is cooked in many places so that makes it a little better. After rereading the description I decided it would not be that bad if the meat was cooked. But I don't know if I'll be able to bring myself to ordering something called larb.

But I did branch way out and try a really unique dish called pad thai. Apparently this is on every Chinese restaurant menu but its completely different at a legitimate Thai place. I'm not sure what all comes in it, but there was chicken, tofu (more on this in a bit), skinny curly noodles, green onions, cilantro, spicy chili something, and peanuts. Plus I squeezed a lime on top. I'm not sure if they do that in Thailand or if they're Mexicanizing it for our Tex-Mex palates. Either way - Awesome. I probably said that a hundred times.

I'm a fan of pad thai now. I don't know what else to say about it, except you probably should not put all the chili something into the dish. Its hot. But it's a terrific dish with so many amazing flavors. As Moe once said, "its like a party in my mouth and everyone's invited."

So, after reading for thirty minutes you're wondering, why am I a hippie. Tofu is why I'm a hippie. They snuck it in and I had a bite before I even knew what it was. And the worst part was, I didn't hate it. To be honest, I didn't anything it. It was just a flavored mass of nothing undesirable or desirable. I feel like I should stop showering and go recite Yugoslavian slam poetry under some tree on a campus somewhere. Isn't that what hippies do? Maybe play some hackey sack. I know some of the readers are vegetarian and like tofu but I made a solemn promise to myself to never associate with the stuff. You know, people judge you by the proteins you eat. I was trying to keep that clean cut image. Now I just feel...healthy. I still shiver at the thought. I ate four Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwiches this weekend to make up for my healthy sins.

Go check this place out. The food is terrific and the waitress we had was really nice and helpful. They only take cash and possibly checks so go prepared. The total for the two of us, with water, spring rolls, and two orders of pad thai was $20 with a tip.

Take Sylvania north to 28th and go right. It will be on your left before you get to Beach Street.

Sikhay on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I've been eating a lot of Thai in the area for a few years and the best Thai around is Sweet Basil in Hurst. It's just south of the NE Mall. They won the critic's choice in the FW Weekly a couple years in a row and they deserve it. The quality of the dishes are superb and you will get out of there paying half of what you think you should be paying. It's that good.
Thai food is traditionally served family style and it's a great experience to order a bunch of dishes and have everyone involved share a bit of everything. Some of my faves there are Pad-See-Ew (I get beef or pork with it), Pad Thai (usually get shrimp with it), Green Curry (w/Chicken), House Basil and their excellent Tom Kha soup.

Fair warning about their curries, even when you order mild, it is spicier than most of us Americans can handle, so be conservative and work your way up.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to give Sweet Basil a visit now that I'm the biggest bandwagon Thai food fan ever.

Have you ever tried larb?

Molly said...

you gotta get the Honey bbq Chicken Strip Sandwhich while the gettins good!

Enjoying your're hittin' up some of my favorite spots!

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Molly, thanks for reading. Let me know if there are any favorites I need to try.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you liked Sikhay - my bf and I have been there several times and think everything is incredibly fresh and delicious! I don't eat meat and they are pretty accomodating, ie subbing tofu for meat in a variety of noodle dishes. The cheap prices are a major plus too!

Anonymous said...

I am of Laos decent but I am a Texan through and through. I love Laotion food even though I have never been there. To answer everyone's question about larb, its really a very good dish. I prefer it cooked(the american in me can't stand to eat it raw). They will serve it that way for you if you ask. Usually she asks first. The pronouciation of the word is actually laup. Don't know who spelled it that way. There are different types of laup. It can be made with any meats. They are other things on that menu that I introduce my friends and family to and they can never get enough of it. Sticky rice, papaya salad, lad-na, and tom yum. Those are my personal favorites. All my siblings including myself married someone of a different race. We have Korean, Hispanic, and African American in our family. And they all love the Laos food. Don't limit yourself to the fimiliar stuff. Try what I suggested.

Anonymous said...

If you like Thai food and pad thai in particular, you have to try Sukhothai in Arlington. There is no better pad thai around in my opinion and we've tried alot of places in the metroplex. They also have an outstanding pineapple curry. We always get things medium spicy which is pretty spicy but they will cook it however you choose. Everyone we've ever taken over there has loved the restaurant. Never had anything bad and I've tried almost everything on the menu.