Chews Wisely: Kata Thai Kitchen

By Sam Forstner | 1/19/16 7:21am

If you’re not looking for Kata Thai Kitchen, you definitely won’t find it. Tucked beneath an unmarked staircase across the alley—err—street from Everything But Anchovies, the restaurant doesn’t get much foot traffic. Luckily I knew where to look, and when I made it inside, it was nothing like what I expected. The interior appears equal parts retro diner, Chipotle and nightclub (the lighting is dim and ambient). And oh yeah, they serve Thai food.

Kata Thai Kitchen is a recent addition to the sustenance offering of Hanover. Its opening means the town now has three Thai restaurants. Three. In a town with one gas station and not a single Mexican restaurant (Boloco, you don’t count.) In order to compete with the other establishments that now make up the Hanover Thai-fecta, Kata presents fast casual Thai dining, compared to the sit-down style of both Thai Orchid and Tuk Tuk.

Once seated, I ordered red curry with beef, and my total bill was under $10. The prices are reasonable, and the restaurant is offering 10% off for Dartmouth students during the month of January. Before my meal arrived, I was brought a side salad with delicious peanut dressing. Then my curry dish arrived 10 to 15 minutes later. The portion was very generous, and when one employee saw that I’d finished my drink, he brought me a cup of water from a self-serve cooler on the counter, something I easily could have done myself. The service was exceptionally friendly and welcoming.

My meal consisted of tender beef with fresh vegetables, cooked in a creamy red-white sauce with just the right amount of kick and served with a side of white rice. It was absolutely delicious, and when it was gone I was left wanting more (not exactly a noteworthy occurrence for me eating a meal, but still, it was fantastic).

Kata Thai Kitchen just could be the consummate lunch destination in town.For Hanover residents, and more specifically the Dartmouth student body, it has the potential to be the new go-to lunch spot (though Kata is open for dinner as well). It’s a place to treat yourself without dipping too deep into your pockets. A place to take a second and get out of the fray without sitting down and waiting an hour. And most importantly, a place that’s not DDS.

5 out of 5 stars.

Sam Forstner