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Thai Is-San (Ko Lanta, Thailand)


On our first night after moving to Khlong Dao, we decided to forgo the touristy-looking beachfront restaurants in search of something more authentic. We cased the main road, and came upon a cute little family-run restaurant named Thai Is-San. I’m not sure whether it was the menu with a Winnie the Pooh cover, the plastic chair seating, or the smiles from the family that caused us to choose Thai Is-San for dinner, but I’m glad we did.

Dinner consisted of a spicy mango salad and stir fried fish with vegetables in spicy sauce. The mango salad was fresh, crunchy, and spicy (not Sumalee spicy, though a very enjoyable 4-star spice). The fish was breaded and stir fried with garlic, tomatoes, chilies, vegetables, coriander, and a soy-chili sauce. I think the fish is one of their best sellers, as I saw it on about 60% of the tables around us.

We were hooked. The next night we came back for more and enjoyed an even tastier meal, this time with the camera in tow. We had to get another mango salad, one of our current addictions. This time we paired it with green curry. Outside of Thailand I’m not really a green curry fan, though I’ve heard in Thailand it’s how you can determine the good cooks from the great ones. Thai Is-San’s green curry is possibly the tastiest green curry I’ve ever had. It had a depth of flavor with kaffir lime leaves, coriander, shallots, and other spices that weren’t dominated by coconut milk. Add in crunchy green beans, gobi cauliflower, and a healthy dose of fresh island prawns and you can see why we licked the bowl clean. If we weren’t headed to Laos, we’d be back again tonight!

Spicy Mango Salad
Spicy mango salad

Green Curry with prawns
Green curry prawns

The happy family
The happy family at work together

Thai Is-san

Thai Is-san
Khlong Dao Beach
Ko Lanta, Thailand

Daily: Lunch, Dinner