Wait! What? Theres a Thai restaurant in the space that housed the German restaurant Gasthaus for nearly 30 years!?
The owners, it said, decided to retire, but hope that someone with the enthusiasm and love for the German culture will step in and take over the Gasthaus.
That hope didnt work out, leaving Louisville, despite the citys Germanic heritage, without a single authentic German eatery, and none in sight.
The transition from Bavaria to Thailand went surprisingly smoothly, given what a project it must have been to convert Gasthauss Bavarian vibe, featuring German knickknacks and a simulated white-stone Alpine village, to a new Southeast Asian tropical look with Thai knickknacks and simulated thatched-roof beach huts.
Heres the good news, though: Just as Gasthaus offered tasty German food in a cozy atmosphere and attentive service, All Thaid Up offers tasty Thai food in a cozy atmosphere with attentive service. The food and mood may have flipped to the other side of the world, but its still a pleasant and relaxing place to enjoy a good meal.
All Thaid Up opened initially for dinner early, but starting this month, theyve added lunch hours with a separate menu. The lunch menu features a half-dozen Thai soups and salads, which, in Thai tradition, are substantial enough to serve as main courses. They range in price from $9 (for tom ka gai, lemongrass and coconut milk chicken soup) to $14 (for a grilled beef salad or mung bean noodle salad with pork and shrimp). Nine rice and noodle dishes are priced from $17 (for khao pad gai, egg fried rice with chicken) to $23 (for a curry noodle soup, shrimp pad Thai, or egg fried rice with crab).
The dinner menu is much more extensive, featuring more than two dozen entree options plus starters, but prices are in the same range, from $17 to $23 for most items. Full bar service is available, including craft cocktails, craft and commercial beers, and a modest wine list.
We passed on those options at the noon hour, but I called for a tall glass of Thai coffee ($6) and got a thick, aromatic blend of dark coffee and sweet condensed milk almost sweet enough for dessert.
A pair of fried spring rolls ($5), each cut in half to make four two-bite morsels, were rolled in thin pastry wrappers and fried very crisp and not too greasy. They were filled with chopped cabbage and thin bean noodles plus a few bits of grated carrot. The dish was presented with a thick, red, sweet-hot chili sauce for dipping.
Another appetizer, a curry puff ($7), consisted of a flaky pastry wrapper the size of your hand, stuffed with potatoes, peas, carrots, and mild yellow curry paste. It came with a gently spicy clear dipping sauce filled with tiny, very crunchy diced cucumber.
Only a few of All Thaid Ups dishes are marked with chili peppers indicating a non-negotiable hot-and-spicy flavor, but every table comes a set of four bowls of fiery condiments so you can doctor up everything the way you like it.
At first glance, the menu also appears not to offer any animal-free options other than a couple of dinner appetizers, but if thats the way you roll, look more closely: Tiny icons indicate that many dishes can be made vegetarian or vegan by substituting tofu for meat and avoiding eggs and fish-based sauces. Pescatarian and gluten-free options are also available for many dishes.
We checked this out by requesting tofu in place of pork in pad see eew ($19), a traditional Thai noodle dish. A hearty and filling meal, it consisted of wide wheat noodles tossed with thin-sliced gai lan (Chinese broccoli) shredded carrots, bits of scrambled egg, and rectangular strips of pressed, marinated, chewy baked tofu.
A deep white bowl almost brim full of kha gai chicken soup ($9) was excellent, a highlight of the meal. The thin but flavorful broth was made with a mix of chicken broth and coconut milk. The soup was full of goodies, not least abundant slices of boneless white chicken meat plus tender, sweet slices of oyster mushroom, bits of white onion, sliced galangal (a citrusy Asian cousin of ginger), bias-cut lengths of lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves, all topped with fresh cilantro. All these flavors fused into an unforgettably fragrant, complex broth.
A large white bowl alongside was filled with a large, neatly formed mound of white rice decorated with three cucumber slices. Our server suggested pouring the soup over the rice, a suggestion we happily accepted.
A splendid meal for two came to $48.76, plus a $12 tip.
All Thaid Up4812 Brownsboro Center
Noise Level: Conversation was easy during a Saturday lunch hour, with decibel levels at a reasonable 58.2dB.
Accessibility: The dining room and restrooms appear fully accessible to wheelchair users.