The well-named Best Thai welcomes a new member to the family in Best Thai Diner, a unique concept from this small, individualistic family-run chain. Taking over the former Ole Whiskers space at LBJ Freeway and Greenville Avenue, the diner opens oh-so softly on November 7, with a grand opening scheduled for November 29.
What's unique about Best Thai Diner is that it's the rare Thai food buffet. While other cuisines such as Indian and Chinese have long plied buffets around Dallas-Fort Worth, most Thai restaurants have been sit-down places with service.
"There's not a lot of Thai buffets, and this one will be the largest in Texas," says spokeswoman Teresa Nguyen.
But the Best Thai folks wanted to do this outlet as a place for experimentation, says spokeswoman Teresa Nguyen.
"There's not a lot of Thai buffets, and this one will be the largest in Texas," she says. "Some Thai places do offer a buffet at lunch, but Best Thai Diner will serve it at lunch and dinner."
They also intend to experiment with the selection, switching out different dishes from day to day and offering a completely different set on weekends. And they'll do something that not many Thai places do, she says.
"Very few Thai restaurants serve food from all four regions of Thailand, and they're going to do that," Nguyen says. "People within the Thai community are excited about that — the opportunity to get noodles and dishes from different regions."
This will be the seventh location of Best Thai. Booney Virattanajun opened the first branch in 1996 in a tiny spot at Preston Road and Royal Lane. She and her husband, Jess, own three other branches, in Irving, Plano and Frisco. Her sister and brother-in-law Meaw and Too Chaisuwan operate Best Thai Signature in Addison and at Frankford in Far North Dallas.
Although they're all under the same family, each branch operates slightly differently. For example, the two branches of Best Thai Signature cater to the vegan community, with whom they are very popular.
Best Thai Diner, which will also incorporate a gift shop with Thai trinkets, represents a next step.
"That’s how they see it," Nguyen says. "It will feature more than 25 items, with a variety of Thai Dishes, including a noodle station. They want to use Best Thai Diner as a way to explore something new."