Pad Thai spices up downtown Carmel’s dining scene

Pad Thai owner Kanlaya Browning opened a new Thai restaurant in Sophia Square facing the Monon Trail. (Staff photo)

Pad Thai owner Kanlaya Browning opened a new Thai restaurant in Sophia Square facing the Monon Trail. (Staff photo)

By Pete Smith

Walkers and runners cruising by along the Monon Trail in downtown Carmel have been keeping their eye on the restaurant planned for the location behind Scotty’s Brewhouse in Carmel’s Sophia Square building.

And now that Pad Thai restaurant has opened its doors, curious diners can stop in and try a refreshing glass of Thai tea and some of the most unique food in the Arts & Design District.

Pad Thai is planning a grand opening July 10 where everyone gets a free appetizer and people can try food as mild as Thai fried rice or a spicy as the Pad Ped – Stir-fried bamboo shoots in red curry paste.

Owner Kanlaya Browning currently operates successful Thai Orchid restaurants in Castleton and Plainfield, but she named her new Carmel restaurant after her restaurant’s signature meal.

“Pad Thai is the most popular Thai dish,” she said, noting that it comes with a choice of meats ranging from chicken to shrimp. “But if (someone) didn’t like seafood, we make everything vegetarian or gluten-free.”

An unbeatable lunch menu price 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.

Thai food is known the world over for its ability to ignite an explosion of flavor and spice in diners’ mouthes, and Pad Thai is no different.

“Some people actually cry,” Browning said with a smile.

But she knows that while people from Thailand have grown up with the taste of powerful red Thai chilis or spicy green curries, American palettes are often not accustomed to the power, so most meals are served mild.

And the waitresses can always make recommendations for each person’s tastes – but some entrees like the Drunken Noodle are always going to be spicy because of the ingredients used. Staples like Pad Thai, Sweet and Sour Chicken or Cashew Chicken are always going to be crowd pleasers.

“The food is also very healthy,” Browning said. “It has lots of vegetables and it’s not oily.”

The restaurant has ample parking in an underground garage and it’s open for lunch and dinner. Reservations are usually not needed unless the meal is for a large group.

And the beautifully decorated modern Thai décor pairs well with the wide windows that offer perfect people-watching views along the Monon Trail.

“We are so glad to be here,” Browning said. “Hopefully Carmel people will come and try good Thai food.”

For more information call 818-8272.



  1. Not Thai Fan on

    Tried to eat there was ignored and treated rudely, so we left. Would not recommend and I will not return.

Leave A Reply