By Pete Smith
The diverse array of restaurants that populate Carmel’s downtown will get a needed injection of spice this spring when a new Thai restaurant graces Sophia Square.
Pad Thai Restaurant plans to open in early April in the space formerly occupied by St. Tropez along the Monon Trail behind Detour.
Owner Kanlaya Browning currently operates the successful Thai Orchid restaurants in Castleton and Plainfield and said she was looking to expand.
“Carmel is a strong and growing community. There is enough demand for a good Thai restaurant here,” Browning said. “We chose a different name because we wanted to go with a different theme and style.”
The plan is for Pad Thai to feature a modern Thai style that balances Thai and Western looks with black and gold colors to enhance its elegance.
Browning was born and raised in Thailand and graduated from Silpakorn University in Bangkok, but she didn’t discover her passion for cooking until her aunt taught her while she was working in the family restaurant.
Browning moved to Indiana 11 years ago, jumped into the restaurant business and has found success through hard work and a good team of employees. Well, that and an excellent menu filled with dishes that she and her partner, Supaporn Winterberg, created themselves.
“Pad Thai is the highlight dish, but we have some other great dishes such as Pad Kee Mao (drunken noodle), Thai fried rice, red curry and green curry,” she said.
An unbeatable lunch menu price, a choice of meats with every dish and the ability to choose your meal’s spiciness – ranging from mild all the way to “Thai hot” – are likely to make Pad Thai a welcome addition to downtown Carmel.
But Pad Thai’s namesake is what is sure to bring customers back for more.
“I love to cook and I love to serve people,” Browning said. “I am very happy when I see my customers walk out happy.”