'Full' Thai offerings
We've been huge fans of Arharn Thai (3739 Bloomington St., arharnthai.net) since it opened six years ago. Not only did it drop another local anchor on the Powers Boulevard corridor, but owners Doungsamorn "Pong" Peanvanvanich and Korakoch Prasertsin introduced Thai plates that remain exclusive to town, such as the Pad Thai Ho Kai (the dish you know, but served in a nifty egg purse).
Now the partners have expanded to the west side with EIM Thai (1466 Garden of the Gods Road, #148, eimthai.com), which hosts a menu that's around three quarters different, Pong says. Sometimes that means little tweaks, such as a couple different ingredients in familiar noodle plates. But the menu features several altogether new dishes — some again exclusive to town — such as an orange curry veggies plate; a fried rice ho kai; kai jeew (a Thai-style omelette with chili sauce); stuffed Thai chicken wings as a starter; and bua loi (compressed rice balls in coconut milk) as a dessert.
Pong says she desired to do a second location to further share her style of Thai food with the community, and specifically those dishes that haven't become common to Americans. As for both her eateries' names: Arharn means "food" and eim means "full," as in having eaten too much.
S is for suds
There are several reasons why Triple S Brewing Company (318 E. Colorado Ave., triplesbrewing.com) might be at or near the head of the class — out of our 20-plus area nano- and microbrew outfits — upon opening in mid-to-late July, tentatively.
Firstly, owner/brewer Steve Stowell retired from 15 years in Special Forces, so let's presume toughness, discipline and mission-oriented thinking will translate well into the brew room when it comes to executing recipes consistently, and to excellence. Second, he has undergone training with both the Beer Judge Certification and Cicerone Certification programs, completing exhaustive exams to prove his prowess and enable him as a professional beer critic and instructor. To be clear: We're talking about mastering the minutia of microbiology that makes or breaks a brew. Even his staff will have to pass first-level Cicerone certification.
The homebrewer of six years knows his five flagships — an IPA, pale ale, wheat, amber and porter — must be spot on for credibility, while three more rotating seasonals (including those suggested by guests) will encourage experimentation. The 3,000 square-foot brewpub will host a 7-barrel system, 81 seats, a stage, coffee, house soda, and a modest sandwich and small-plate menu created by consulting chef Greg Soukup (formerly of Blue Sage Catering).
Stowell expects to be the first brewer in town to offer growler deliveries — just like you'd order a pizza, at the same refill price as in-house — thanks to a loophole he discovered and verified with state liquor board authorities. That service feature runs counter to Stowell's invite otherwise to "sip, savor and stay," i.e. ,"Triple S."