As it has been for many restaurants, this year has been a rollercoaster for Thai Seed. The restaurant opened in January in the University Parkway strip mall anchored by The Fresh Market and Kohl's, shifted in March to begin offering delivery service because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and then in June added a nifty online ordering system that makes grabbing takeout a breeze.
Adisorn Rochanavibhata, who opened the restaurant with two partners, says Thai Seed's recipes come straight from Bangkok, where he and his co-owners were born. At first, the restaurant served sushi in addition to its mix of Thai soups, curries, noodle dishes, fried rice platters and stir fry entrées, but it cut the raw fish from the menu in March.
For a spicy kickstart to your meal, order the larb gai ($8.95). It's made by tossing small nuggets of ground chicken with roasted rice powder, chopped green and red onions, slivers of carrot, a fistful of cilantro leaves and a lime dressing and mounting the mixture atop wide wedges of lettuce. The result is an addictive mix of spicy, sour and acidic that will make you sweat, in a good way.
The massaman curry ($12.95) can be ordered to whatever spice level you like. Kept mild, it has a sweet profile that marries nicely to pork or any other protein you choose. Large hunks of potato and roasted peanuts give it texture. Thai Seed also offers red, green and panang curries.
The Crying Tiger special ($19.95) is more substantial, with thick slices of sirloin, rice and simple steamed vegetables. Don't skimp on the spicy sauce served alongside. The wash of heat and acid makes the flavor of the meat come alive.
Thai Seed is currently offering dine-in service, but only up to 25 percent of the building's capacity. If you call and ask for curbside service, the restaurant is happy to oblige.
Thai Seed is located at 5215 University Parkway, No. 108, University Park, and is open 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 4:30-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 4-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more info, call (941) 306-5592 or visit the restaurant's website.