There are some amazing places in Bangkok to experience Authentic Thai food. Most people in Thailand look no further than their own family to experience these fantastic tastes and favors. My house is the exception. If it doesn’t come from a take out container or bag, then usually we are not eating at all. I love to cook, but am not experienced in preparing Thai dishes. Many of my friends, and their parents hand down these recipes from mother to daughter. This is Thai food. Your hometown or birthplace is usually the influence that is used when cooking. So, what is in demand in Yala, might not be the same in Chang Mai.

This is why a trip to The Local on Sukhumvit Soi 23 was such an experience. This traditional Thai restaurant pulls out all the stops to give you a fantastic experience as well as a tremendous meal.

As you enter The Local you will discover a comfy living room area with Thai pottery and murals depicting Thai people from an earlier century. These beautiful murals depict everyday life in a Thai village and stretch throughout this space. With large pottery placed neatly on the floor and the dark wood of the walls, this place makes you feel like you are in a Thai home.

The Local offers a deeper look into the rich Thai culture.

In terms of seating, The Local offers a tremendous outdoor patio wrapping around the length of the building. From marble tabletops to wicker chairs, this entire area is amazing. Various antiques are spaced perfectly between each table and private seating area. The owner, Ken, has personally decorated this entire location by painstakingly choosing each part to highlight Thai culture. This is an owner who is passionate about his establishment. This shows by the love and care he has as a hands on owner who cares deeply about what he does and it reflects everywhere.

Moving down the hall you really get a sense of the respect The Local has for its culture. Various black and white photos of the past Kings are perched upon antique curio cabinets. Each cabinet mixes Thai pottery, woven baskets, and stoneware. On the left and right of the hallway are the private function rooms. Also, a large glassed wine room shows off the impressive wine list that is available. The real feature of this area is the private dining rooms. You will feel that you are having a meal with His Majesty. These beautifully furnished hideaways offer a long grand table with ten chairs fitting comfortably around it. Some of these majestic rooms offer their own private toilet area for their guests. This is perfect for your next meeting or dinner with family and friends.

A mixture of different styles.

Each area at The Local tries to encapsulate a different Thai design. The lower level of the second floor offers a large private dining area with room for a large amount of people. Each area offers its own kitchen, which also makes The Local so unique. As you move to the right, and journey up the flight of teak wood stairs, you enter the main dining area. Once again, beautiful murals are shown depicting people from a time long ago. Throughout this area of light colored wood fixtures, you will find roomy tables with cushioned rattan chairs. These colors combine to give the second floor area a light and airy feeling at any time of day. There is also another full kitchen and service bar dedicated to this floor.

Traditional Thai is not the correct description of the food here. These are recipes of Thai dishes that are centuries old and cannot be made at other places. Ken has made finding original Thai recipes a hobby that borders on obsession. Its that kind of passion that all owners should have. This experience will introduce you to foods you may have heard of but never truly ate until now. This location is the top contender and not a pretender.

The perfect mix.

The one thing of note about all the food at The Local is its very good food for a very reasonable price. The atmosphere is quiet and relaxed at The Local. With so many different dining areas, you can faintly hear a conversation and laughter over the soothing Thai music. When dining at The Local, you will lose the stress from the busy streets and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere as you dine. The mix of Thai and foreigner creates a nice blend of people. The staffs are dressed in traditional Thai uniforms from days gone by, and are rushing quietly to make sure your dining experience is superb.

By Kevin Harrington.