Tame Tiger

Sadly, the food never answers the call of the wild

Alas, one other appetizer I must pause to knock before turning my attention to the sweets is the chicken lettuce wrap. Here the fact that the bird was diced and copious amounts of Thai spices had been added obscured any blandness of the chicken. So my quibble was not so much with the bird itself, but with the lettuce used as a wrap. Iceberg lettuce? I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm completely prejudiced when it comes to the most insipid, boring head of lettuce on the market, and one completely unsuited to any sort of salad or wrap as far as I'm concerned. Cheaper it may be, but red-leaf lettuce and Chinese cabbage are far superior in that they actually have some character. Be assured that when yours truly is made the Culinary Caligula of this city, iceberg lettuce will be banned.

As to the desserts, Weaver is on firm footing, particularly when one sticks to such old country faves as coconut ice cream with crushed peanuts. And then there's the Thai classic: sweet mango and warm sticky rice. This was good, but not great. The rice should be even stickier and sweeter from its coconut milk, but that's a minor quibble. If you've never tried it before, you really should give it a go.

Ultimately, my advice to the chef is, live up to your restaurant's name and get wilder! Her tiger is, if not toothless, dentally impaired. No doubt the average Phoenician, for whom Thai food may be somewhat of an adventure, will not be scared away by the tame fare, but please, please give us Asia-philes a cuisine to hang onto. Be authentic and you will be surprised at how loyal your fan base will become.

Top cat: Chef/owner Olashawn Weaver's Wild Thaiger is really a docile critter.
Jackie Mercandetti
Top cat: Chef/owner Olashawn Weaver's Wild Thaiger is really a docile critter.

Location Info


The Wild Thaiger

2631 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Category: Restaurant > Thai

Region: Central Phoenix


Veggie sampler: $7.95
Red seafood curry: $11.95
Pad Thai: $8.95
Sweet mango and sticky rice: $4.95

602-241-8995. Lunch, Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Dinner, Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 5 to 9 p.m.

2631 North Central Avenue

E-mail stephen.lemons@newtimes.com

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