Nestled next to a Red Wing Shoes, a Mattress Firm Clearance and a Sprouts in one of Lakewood’s more mundane strip malls now exists one of the more consequential addendums to our list of best Thai restaurants. Farmhouse Thai Eatery opened in May of this year and has since gained a surprisingly swift — but well deserved — popularity. The dense and vibrant smell of curry, ginger, garlic and fish sauce now waft through much of the parking lot. It’s not surprising to see customers who initially arrived to do some shopping be lured through Farmhouse’s doors by the entrancing aroma.
The family restaurant sees mother and owner May Uree handling much of the back-of-house legwork, while her daughter Toon Imjart commands a surprising amount of the serving and customer service on her own. The duo arrived by way of California, and the cooking reveals the Golden State influence. The dishes are vegetable-rich and prepared with a focus on the interplay of textures just as much as the meshing of spices and seasonings. The kitchen also makes a point to highlight the local sourcing and fresh, natural ingredients.
The lengthy menu — spanning over 40 items — includes delicious renditions of the expected standards. Pad Thai ($12) — one of five noodle dishes — arrives heavy on the fish sauce and tamarind paste, with free-range chicken and crunchy bean sprouts making the dish one of the more balanced interpretations in the city. Classic curries all get their fair treatment, with the expected options of chicken, pork, tofu and vegetables being joined by the more lavish calamari and prawns. A lunch special — available Tuesday – Friday 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. — sees many of the favored dishes available for $10 and accompanied by a side salad. The list — broken into starters, salads, noodles, fried rice, sautees and curries — is cemented by the “must try” section which features the majority of the harder-to-find dishes that make Farmhouse truly worth the trip.
The Hang Leh Curry ($14) — butter-soft pork belly and pork shoulder stewed with ginger, palm sugar, turmeric, tamarind and pickled garlic — is rather sweet, the gooey broth looking more like fruit-infused honey than the kind of curry most Western diners are accustomed to. The Hello Summer ($13) — a play on watermelon salad — combines a plentiful portion of the melon with arugula, coconut jelly, kaffir and mint leaves, sliced almond, shallot and balsamic vinaigrette. Both dishes highlight what makes Farmhouse great — the ability to be highly imaginative with quality still surpassing novelty.
Drink-wise the selection is surprisingly dense. Over 2o wines are available by the bottle or glass, with half-price off all bottles going down every Tuesday. Cocktails, sake and beer — a blend of Thai favorites and local selections — all receive a serviceable treatment, though the grape is clearly the favored choice.
Despite the multitude of choices, it’s hard to go wrong. Whether going standard or more far-out, the dishes are prepared with originality, choice ingredients and skill. With Denver’s Thai food finding its finest representation spread to every corner of the city, the jaunt out to South Wadsworth is certainly worth the expedition.
Farmhouse Thai is located at 98 Wadsworth Blvd, #117, Lakewood. It is open Tuesday – Friday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., and Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
All photography by Alden Bonecutter.