Tucked into the tiny space that once housed Fabio's -- long known as a purveyor of both fresh pasta and romantic dinners before it moved to West Alabama -- is newcomer Njoy Thai, the subject of this week's cafe review. There's no longer fresh pasta to be found here, as the family-run restaurant specializes in (you guessed it) Thai food. But there's a surprisingly romantic aspect to the cozy, comfortable dining room that's a welcome amenity here along Lower Westheimer.
Sure, you can get a romantic dinner at Feast -- across the street -- or fellow newcomer L'Olivier a few blocks down, but what Njoy also has going for it that makes the little restaurant unique is the fresh, inexpensive Thai-style comfort food it also offers. It's perfect for a low-key (and low-budget) date night, especially if you and your ladyfriend/manfriend cloister yourselves into the curtained cabana that sits in one corner of the dining room.
On the other hand, it's not so overwhelmingly "date-y" that you can't have a nice, quick business lunch or a lingering dinner alone over a comforting plate of pad thai (the cuisine's answer to macaroni and cheese, in my opinion) without feeling like you crashed someone's romantic evening. It sounds like a lot of different aesthetics to pack into one restaurant, for sure, but at Njoy it all works.