Jeera Thai: Thanking A Gem

The other day, I stopped in to Jeera Thai.

That’s the tiny but wonderful restaurant tucked next to Finalmente, across from Design Within Reach, just down from Westport Pizzeria and the great new Field Trip jerky shop.

In a town filled with very good restaurants — and new ones coming (and going) all the time — Jeera Thai is at the top of any list.

This is the real deal. The menu is authentic — not watered down for American palates. Chicken, lamb, noodles, soups, stir-fry, curry — it’s all there, flavorful, zesty and real.

Herbs and spices are “correct” — imported from Thailand. Other ingredients come from New York, where there is a robust Thai dining scene.

Clockwise from top: Su Kho Thai, a very spicy noodle soup; curry puffs (chicken with cucumber sauce); Bangkok Stir Fry, another spicy and wonderful dish.

I had a salmon, red curry and coconut dish that was truly out of this world. Or at least, halfway around it.

Here’s the interesting thing: As I chatted with owner Jeeranunn Atiportunyapong — you can call her “Luna,” and I sure do — several other diners offered totally unsolicited praise.

“I’m very well traveled,” one said. “I study Asian culture. This is as spot-on as it gets. The food is so fresh. It’s real cooking. You can’t fake flavors. There’s a perfect balance between pungent and spicy. It can be ecstatically amazing.”

But she wasn’t finished. She added, “This place is a refuge for me. I come here 3 or 4 days a week.”

Luna, in her Jeera Thai restaurant.

Overhearing us talking, another customer chimed in.

“I’ve been to Thailand. This is so authentic. The pad kaprow and drunken noodles with beef — you can’t beat that anywhere. You should write a story about it!”

I don’t usually do that. But those customers — and all of Luna’s many others — are right. It’s a true Westport gem, hidden right in the middle of downtown.

So here’s that story. And (thank you, Google Translate!) here are my thanks to Luna, for Jeera Thai’s wonderful food and beautiful spirit:

ขอขอบคุณและขอให้โชคดี

Jeera Thai, nestled in a small space off the Post Road.

8 responses to “Jeera Thai: Thanking A Gem

  1. Amen to all that’s been said. This little place is the real deal. And it’s hiding in plain sight.

  2. Arlene Gottlieb

    Dan. You are the best!!!! This review and recommendation is so valuable to this difficult business. We are sure to go there!!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  3. I love this place!

  4. Michael Calise

    Danny Boy gives Patricia Brooks a good run for the money!

  5. Sal Liccione

    The food and staff are relly nice and downtown

  6. Matt McGrath

    Have lived in Thailand for 18 years now and visit Westport in the summertime to see family and friends. I don’t seek Thai food when in the states, but may have to make an exception after reading about Luna’s place. Many Thais bring their chilis, etc when travelling. My landlady Jiraporn just visited here in Phuket and returned to her home in Australia with a big suitcase filled with spices and Thai delicacies.

  7. My wife and I eat here all the time, and we agree it’s a great little place. It’s understated though and easy to miss, as Mr, Boyd said above: “hiding in plain sight”. Parking can be a little tricky though, since their customers are apparently not supposed to be using the Sconset Square lot.

  8. Joshua Stein

    My go-to is Rainbow thai!