My quest for the best pineapple fried rice continues.
So far, I’ve tried the different versions served at Champa Thai, Siam Palace and most recently, Pae Thai. All restaurants are small eateries in the Honolulu area, minutes from Waikiki. However, I haven’t found a pineapple dish quite like our old spot in Manoa. Sadly, it closed down several years ago.
Pae Thai’s pineapple fried rice came the closest to my liking. The dish tasted very fresh and was packed with lots of color. I appreciated that the cooks didn’t use canned pineapples but instead freshly-cut ingredients full of flavor. The portion itself was a bit on the small side and probably just enough for two people.
The small eatery on King Street is wonderful, though, and the service very sweet. Pae Thai is owned by a very soft-spoken couple from Bankok. Their hard work showed throughout the night, as they rushed from table to table, refilling water cups and taking orders. The restaurant was pretty packed for a Thursday night, which says something about its popularity among Thai food lovers.
Apparently, Pae Thai has a lot of national recognition. A New York Times columnist wrote about the tiny eatery, as well as a few travel publications. Among the highest honors was a comment about this being one of the only places in the nation where you can find “real” Thai food. The columnist wrote that you could never get a bad meal here, and I (and my stomach) agree.
PAE THAI • 1246 King St., Honolulu, HI 96814 • 808-596-8106 • Limited parking in back lot or metered parking on street that is free after 6pm