There’s no such thing as too many Thai restaurants, and even while the ones we have don’t detour from the usual suspects — noodle dishes, stir-fries, curries and soups — Mali Thai Cuisine, which just recently opened in a strip mall near the Denver Tech Center in the former Nino’s New York Style Pizza, is a welcome addition to Denver’s south corridor, where international restaurants are far outnumbered by pedestrian American chains.
The bright, stylish restaurant, hued stark white and lime, is owned by Satita Malithng, a native of Bangkok, and she, along with executive chef Napha Polawat, who also hails from Thailand, have designed a menu that, while familiar, features bold, vibrant flavors and fresh ingredients, including an abundance of herbs. Polowat doesn’t shy away from heat, either, prodding her dishes with the jolt of chiles. The dishes can be made mild, moderate, hot or Thai hot, and while the latter won’t send your tongue into a tailspin — the kitchen is careful not to make its dishes oppressive — there’s plenty of strength in those pods. It may not be the Thai-est Thai food in town (that honor still goes to Thai Street Food), but after having lunch here over the weekend, I’m convinced that I happened upon a Thai restaurant that’s a notable discovery.