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Some Like It Hot

And they could be in for mild disappointment at Nidda Thai

It's not surprising that Nidda tends to wobble between merit and mediocrity.

The owner (and occasional cook) Som Kid is brand-new to the restaurant business. With admitted reservations, she launched into this culinary adventure primarily at the urging of her husband, who operates an auto repair business in Montrose. She has staffed the establishment with friends and acquaintances -- "all Thai people," she says proudly -- and has named it after her mother, who remains in Thailand. And, a waitress confides, Nidda doesn't know her daughter has even opened a restaurant, much less named a half-dozen of the dishes after her.

Well, that's probably something Dr. Phil needs to help them work through as a family. But the more immediate concern at Nidda may be getting its long-awaited beer-and-wine license so it can start offering Singha, that potent Thai brew that pairs so well with this robust food.

Standouts include the squid salad.
Troy Fields
Standouts include the squid salad.

Location Info

Map

Nidda Thai Cuisine

1226 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77006

Category: Restaurant > Thai

Region: Montrose

Details

Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 9:30 p.m. Sundays.

Green papaya salad: $6.95
Squid salad: $7.95
Gaeng som curry: $7.95
Thai-style shrimp: $12.95
Coconut ice cream: $3.75

1226 Westheimer, 713-522-8895.

In the meantime, diners have to rely on the first-rate desserts to finally quench those Thai peppers. There's a lovely coconut ice cream that truly tastes as homemade as the menu claims. A nimbly fried banana with not-so-homemade vanilla ice cream is also a treat. But traditionalists will probably prefer the pleasantly gelatinous glob of sweetness called sticky rice that's served with fresh mango slices.

A scaled-down version of the elaborate menu is offered for lunch, at a reasonable $6.95 for an entrée, soup or salad, and a roll.

With longtime favorites Thai Pepper and Golden Room already laying claim to Montrose -- and Thai Sticks gaining ground -- there's not a lot of elbow room for a newcomer. To her credit, neophyte Som Kid is trying to follow her own path at Nidda. There is, for example, no mee krob on the menu. Asked about the absence of this almost compulsory Thai dish of crispy noodles covered with a palm sugar-based sauce, Kid flatly rejects it as "too sticky, too sweet, no good for the healthy people." Fans of South Park will no doubt recall the episode in which it's revealed that one of the eight primal curse words just happens to be...mee krob. Apparently Kid shares that belief. Let's hope she continues to display such spirited conviction when deciding just how spicy and flavorful the food at Nidda should be.

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