Ruthai’s Thai Kitchen in Mt. Lookout

I’ve probably driven by Ruthai’s Thai Kitchen a thousand times.  I don’t know why I didn’t stop sooner.  Thankfully, I came to my senses one night when we were driving hungry; we made a last minute decision to finally stop!  Hallelujah, am I glad.

The restaurant is roomier inside than it appears.  It’s basically divided into two sections.  The first section includes more traditional style seating with low tables and oversized pillows.  I gotta say, I kind of enjoy taking my shoes off and getting cozy; I won’t swear to being graceful with the landing though!

Love the traditional seating!

A few years ago, when my sinuses were particularly a mess, I lived on Thai hot and sour soup.  It was the only thing I could taste.  I still love it because it’s aromatic and spicy.  It’s typically served with shrimp, but a veggie version is always available. Ruthai’s Hot and Sour Mushroom, for me, is a must.  It’s a gorgeously fragrant melody of fresh mushrooms, chili pepper, tomato, and spices in a lemongrass broth. The only other app I’ve tried so far is the Garlic Green Beans.  OK, let me clarify; the garlic green beans might not be an appetizer, but who says splitting a dinner dish can’t be the “start” a meal?  You might want to break the rules too because these beans are sautéed in the perfect amount of soy sauce, and are crisp and loaded with garlic.

Hot and Sour Mushroom Soup

Garlic Green Beans

We’ve ordered and enjoyed several dishes at Ruthai’s including the Shrimp Curry (pineapple, bell peppers, carrot, and snow peas in yellow curry and coconut milk) and the Pad Thai (thin rice noodles, bean sprouts, green onion, and Pad Thai sauce).  My favorite order so far is definitely the Vegetable Basil.  I turn it into Chicken Vegetable Basil because while I love all the veggies, I’m a meat-makes-everything-better kind of person.  I was told once that Thai food uses Holy Basil (like that’s the legit kind of basil . . . I googled it).  How appropriate since this dish is bright, comforting, layered, and light all at the same time.  I can smell the fresh basil before the plate hits the table.

Vegetable Basil + Chicken

Shrimp Curry

Last time I ate at Ruthai’s, a coworker came in with her husband and her in-laws.  Turns out, Ruthai’s is a pretty special place to them.  They had their first date at Ruthai’s and they got engaged at Ruthai’s.  I asked to take and include their picture in this post because . . . well . . . how cool is that?! (Congrats, Carly!) (Also, I’m sorry for bumping into your hubby when I not so gracefully got up from the floor!)

Family Meal! Celebrating! BYOB

I’ve been trying to name what it is I love so much about Thai.  I think it’s the depth of flavor: spicy, sour, sweet, herbaceous.  Ruthai’s Thai Kitchen gets that balance.   The menu is loaded with noodle dishes, seafood dishes, rice dishes, curry dishes, and sushi.  Maybe I shouldn’t be so happy that I “discovered” Ruthai’s because this is dangerous.  Deliciously dangerous.  Yep.  I’m gonna say it.  Here it goes.  Ruthai’s is my new favorite Thai place in the city.  Boom!

Buyer Beware: the spicy scale is mild, medium, hot, and Ruthai hot.  The medium is hot; perfectly hot.  If you go beyond the medium, keep your beverage close at hand!

Tip: Ruthai’s is BYOB so if you like an adult beverage with your meal, feel free to bring it with you.

GO THERE (Ruthai’s on Linwood Ave.)! TRY THAT (Thai Basil)!

Ruthai's Thai Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Wicked Playing at the Aronoff

Last night, as I watched Wicked at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati, I was simply stunned by the beauty, richness, and depth of this show.  I saw Wicked in Louisville a few years back, and at that time I was caught up in the wonder of the songs that I was so intimately familiar with from listening to the soundtrack repeatedly.  Yes, the music is brilliant.  Yes, the connections to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are exciting and clever, providing for many “ah-ha” moments. This time though, what really stirred me, was the depth of the story which is so incredibly relevant today. Timeless themes actually.  If you haven’t seen it (yet), I don’t want to give anything away, but this beautifully tragic musical highlights, sometimes subtly and sometimes not, themes such as:

  • The need to be popular; to be liked
  • Creating and then craving a false identity; living behind a mask
  • Greed; the desire to be more and have more
  • Accepting yourself even if you don’t fit societal norms
  • The need to be truly connected to others
  • The richness of friendship
  • The struggle to overcome difficult odds
  • The nature of discrimination

But there are deeper, darker notes that point to the best and worst parts of humanity. So many striking questions that I believe we should be thinking about today.  Do humans bond through hatred for a common enemy?  Do we search for scapegoats to mask our own weaknesses?  Are there people we consider “other than” and therefore not desirable?  Honestly, I could go on.  Just so powerful! 

Luckily, the script is as delightful as it is prudent.  It’s as fantastical as it is honest.  The performance last night was rich and captivating.  From the full, nuanced vocals to the energetic, powerful dancing, this cast had it all.  So much to see at one time.  The sound effects, costumes, lighting, makeup, and set design all worked together in such an impressive way.  I applaud the cast and crew.  

You will not regret seeing this one! My face truly hurt from smiling; well, until I hit the parts that made me cry! Normally, I would say I’m #teamelphaba, and I thought her performance was stellar, but I have to say, I think I ended up on #teamglinda last night.  Her take on the “good witch” was quirky, awkward, and endearing.  I found her truly delightful and engaging.  Our Elphaba, a stand-in, captured the thoughtful intelligence and passion of her character. Wicked runs until October, 15th!  Grab some tickets and enjoy a night out!  

GO THERE (Aronoff)!  TRY THAT (Wicked)  (and then go back to see other shows)!