AWARDS AND PRESS
WHO VOTED FOR US!
Inlander readers have awarded us number one best Thai every year since the category started (that’s fourteen years in a row as of 2019)
Thai Bamboo won the coveted “Hall of Fame” for winning 10 year in a row.
Won best restaurant design and atmosphere in 2012 for our impressive “Las Vegas” style ceiling and authentic Thai décor.
THAI AND/OR ASIAN
Won #1 Best Thai and/or Asian every year since the categories started from Spokane CDA Living.
THAI AND/OR ASIAN
Won best Asian and/or best Thai every year since the category started from KREM TV’s “Best Of”.
The folks at THAI BAMBOO can finally replace the artist’s rendering of the Coeur d’Alene location with a real photo on their Website. Not since Mad Mary’s, which closed in 1998, has Coeur d’Alene had a Thai restaurant. With three sister-locations in Spokane Valley and Spokane, the new Coeur d’Alene Thai Bamboo is the largest, most elaborate created by owners Tom and Matavee Burgess. The interior is delightfully overdone, with two-toned bamboo walls, bamboo-patterned laminate on the floor, even fresh-growing bamboo on the table. Thai-inspired decoration is everywhere: woven into the seating fabric, inlaid in gold onto the edge of the granite table tops, hung as elaborately dressed figures carved in relief. In the bustling main dining room, the 17-foot-high dome ceiling lit with pulsing LED lights glows a soothing cerulean blue like the evening sky.
Flavorful and spicy food, the oddly glitzy interior and the buzz of being new and busy — we waited 20 minutes for a table — make Thai Bamboo a delightful experience.
At its best, dining is an experience that involves all of your senses. A second location of a popular Valley restaurant, Thai Bamboo, affords just that — a tranquil respite from the hustle and bustle. Accented with Thai woodcarvings, huge jars and native artwork. Thai music runs through the comfortably large dining room. Booth seats glimmer in bright rainbow colors of Thai silk. Large murals at each end of the room are bright with the faces and facets of Thai life.
The exotic, spicy-sweet aromas coming from the kitchen, where chef Matavee Burgess works her culinary magic, are tantalizing. Burgess specializes in southern Thai cuisine — sweet, spicy and aromatic. Popular items include satay, red curry rice bowl, and cashew tofu with chili sauce.
At Matavee’s urging, I sampled Nuea Tod, a Thai beef jerky appetizer. This is not brittle, home-on-the-range dried beef, but meat that is tender and flavorful, with a teriyaki taste. I couldn’t pass up the chicken cashew nut, a popular Thai specialty. This main dish features sautéed chicken, bell peppers, onions, green beans, carrots and cashews. The vegetables are crunchy fresh and sliced in interesting shapes, with carrots like miniature suns. The tangy sauce had just enough kick and sweet undertones.
The measure of a good Thai restaurant is usually its Phad Thai, a well-known Thai noodle dish. Thai Bamboo’s version was excellent. Matavee surprised me with dessert — small slices of fresh banana covered in a spring roll wrapper and deep fried. The sweet, soft banana contrasts well with the crunchy wrap. This yummy dessert can also be topped with a scoop of coconut or banana ice cream from Mary Lou’s.
Two blocks north of a previous location on Division Street, Thai Bamboo opened its fourth outlet on Tuesday, May 10. The new 9,500-square-foot restaurant has seating for over 200 people, two outdoor patios, a private banquet room and a lounge.
The move to a bigger location with flashy décor coincides with Thai Bamboo’s ten-year anniversary. “With little new building going on because of the economic slump, a new Spokane landmark with a big, bright, fun-looking outside should cheer people up,” says owner Tom Burgess.
The restaurant’s interior is filled with gold- and jewel-toned statues, sequined dragon wall hangings and chandeliers with tropical birds. In the main dining area, the sky-blue ceiling is equipped with thousands of lights, fiber optic stars and lasers. After the restaurant closes in the evening, the pocket doors to the lounge slide open to create a nightclub with music and a light show that gives the illusion of dancing under the stars. “Not bad for Spokane,” Burgess says.
Thai Bamboo — If you’re looking for an escape, there’s hardly a better option than a foray to one of Thai Bamboo’s three Spokane locations. The menu is enormous, with some items helpfully labeled “popular Thai dish.” The Thai Bamboo style fried rice was easily the best fried rice I’ve had in Spokane, with big chunks of tender pork, crisp cabbage and other vegetables all fried up with jasmine rice. Swimming rama is a mysteriously named dish that is really quite simple and delicious. Sautéed chicken is served on a bed of fresh spinach and topped with a rich peanut sauce. Thai Bamboo uses high-quality fresh ingredients and keeps prices reasonable.
Spokane’s craving for Thai food seems to have been satisfied and well served at Thai Bamboo. The casual atmosphere offers a large menu of authentic and great tasting dishes. Whether you’re looking for a simple Phad Thai lunch or something a little more exotic, you’ll find it at Thai Bamboo.