Ambiance : 3.5/5
Food : 3.5/5
Service : 4/5
Value : 3.5/5
Price : $$
Reservation : Accept
(Soup) Volcanic Tom Yum Soup, Coconut Tom Kha
(Appetizers) Mee Krob, Yum Woon Sen Jae
(Entree) Chili & Basil, Drunken Men Noodles,
(Alcohol) Not impressed
Jaya Thai is the go-to neighborhood Thai restaurant in the upper east side. When I visit family up there and are unable to decide where and what to eat, we end up at Jaya Thai. In 2016 alone I must have been here a dozen times, the volcano soup, it just cannot go wrong.
The 3 elements: Land, Water & Spirit are well used in the decor and furnishing of Jaya Thai. As you enter the place you'll walk over a small pond on the floor with fishes swimming back & forth under the tiny step bridge. And just after the pond to the left is the bar, adorning a standing Buddha statue in bronze with its hands clasped, "Namaste", welcoming you in. My favorite part of the decor is the live edge tables with a unique story to tell.
The service has always been good and prompt. We did have a mix-up once and they were nice enough to bring us the dish we ordered and also keep the one that was brought to us by mistake.
The food is packed with flavors and comes in 3 different spice levels, Mild, Medium and Hot. If you cannot handle spicy, I suggest you make that clear to your server. Medium is what my family usually orders, and they tear up and sweat. On the other hand, I love Thai spicy, and usually compliment it with Thai Ice tea! The Medium spiced Volcanic Tom Yum is more like Medium- Hot and comes in a flaming bronze volcano bowl, for the table. The price for the soup increases for a party of 5 or more. I have not had a great experience with the fried appetizers, too oily for my preference. The entree's taste good, nothing that'll blow my taste buds away.
Most appetizers, soups, and entree's come with a choice of meat, seafood, tofu or vegetables. This is one of the few Thai restaurants that are vegetarian-friendly. Most Thai dishes use the traditional Thai sauce for the saltiness and the pungent taste, Jaya Thai uses a mushroom-based sauce for vegetarians. The only odd thing is that Rice is charged separately and comes in 3 options jasmine, Brown or Sticky.
The cost per person with tip is around $45 if you share the appetizers, soup and order your own entree.
If you are in the neighborhood and feel Thai then this is a good place to try. Or if you are like my Wife who loves vegetarian Tom Yum, then you go there from where ever you are!
khop khun mâak