The Salt Lake Scene

Chanon Thai

Chanon ThaiOn the southwest corner of 900 S and 300 E, right next to the Cocoa Café, there’s a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant space that seemed doomed to fail.

I used to live up the block from there, and literally, from my front porch, over the course of a year and a half, I watched two different restaurants move in to this space, and then quickly move out. I personally never even dreamed of eating at either.

But now, that little hole-in-the-wall is home to Chanon Thai – arguably the best Thai place in Salt Lake City. And it’s definitely not going anywhere.

Chanon is run by a darling Thai family. The look-alike sons are the waiters, and they always greet you right away at the door with a genuine bow and smile combo that makes you feel like you’re either Miss Utah or Mitt Romney. This is nice, because even though they have expanded to add another small room to the main dining area, the place is super small and on busy nights, you may have to wait a bit. At least you feel loved while you wait.

Sundays are very busy, because they’re one of the few Thai restaurants in the city open on Sundays. The trade-off is that they’re closed on Saturdays.

So why is it so busy? Because the food is incredible. The menu is packed with delicious curries and pads and larbs and soups. The secret to beautiful Thai food is the intricate balance of five flavors: spicy, sweet, salty, bitter and sour. And Chanon does this perfectly.

Beware though: when they say hot, they mean Hell just breathed on your food. Chanon’s spice has become the stuff of legend. Many a tough guy has been humbled by the heat. And their hotness rating system is crazy in my book. On the regular scale, you can choose from 0 to 5. But 0 is still spicy. Before 0 comes “not spicy” and “a little bit spicy.” Choose wisely. I adore spicy foods, and I usually top out at a 2. I’ve seen the consumption of a 4, but it wasn’t pretty.

Definitely go.

Chanon Thai

278 E. 900 South
Salt Lake City