There’s always a nonsensically long wait for a table at Thai Tom, but it makes perfect sense once you’ve been there. The food is pretty much straight Thai classics, but done so well, you’ll want to cry. The space itself is tiny, and while securing a spot at the counter is an experience in and of itself—the chefs work at a lightning-fast pace, often snatching stray vegetables straight out of the wok-heating flames with bare hands—it’s often easier to get take out. Their pad thai, panang curry, or deep-fried tofu is just as delicious devoured on the nearby UW quad as it is in house. Also, they’re not kidding about the heat levels. This is not the place to be a spice hero. TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE
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