I usually give a place a few weeks after it opens to iron things out before I go and do a full-fledged review. Thai Me Up is a perfect example why. Early reports on the restaurant taking over the space formerly occupied by Galanga weren’t good. 

Many complained that the food was over-priced, the portions skimpy and the service ranged from inefficient to surly.

Our experience on a recent visit was contrary to most of those complaints. The food could have arrived at the table in a timelier manner, there were major gaps between when some of our party were served their entrée while others sat waiting. Otherwise it was a very positive experience.

Thai Me Up

2389 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors

954-202-0000

We were dining early and easily found parking spaces in Thai Me Up’s small lot. Even if the lot is full, there is street parking along the north side of the property and a city lot less than a block away.  Our party of five was greeted warmly and shown to a table inside (there is also a large, if spartan, patio).

 

The dining room isn’t large, but the soaring ceiling gives the feeling of spaciousness. Looking at the menu did provide a bit of sticker shock; everything on the house specialties section is well over $25. However, turn a couple of pages and get back to the noodle and rice dishes and you’ll find more reasonably priced fare; noodle dishes average $16 and curries are $14, and most come with a choice of miso or house salad. There is also a vast selection of sushi. Again, the exotic rolls listed on the front half of the menu are far pricier than those listed farther back. 

We all began with soup. The miso was rich and fragrant, and the tom ka kai had just the right balance of citrus and coconut, with juicy pieces of chicken studding the bowl. An appetizer of fried gyoza proved adequate while the Agedashi Tofu didn’t have enough of a coating to hold to the bean paste, although the dipping sauce was nice. 

Pad Thai with steamed tofu and chicken massaman curry were textbook examples of the dish. Thai Me Up’s menu pays no attention to national boundaries and offers a few dishes that are an eclectic blend of cultures. For example, there are a few Italian dishes on the menu, including a delicious lobster with carbonara and bacon and sweet basil, sprinkled with parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Priced at $30, it is one of the most expensive items on the menu, but worth the indulgence.

An item from the house specials promises a rack of BBQ ribs. I was intrigued by the dichotomy of the dish on the menu.  I was not disappointed. It’s not quite a full rack, but since it is country-style ribs and not baby back or spare-ribs, half a rack is plenty (I ended up taking half home). The teriyaki glaze may not be traditional, but then neither is the side, a yummy egg fried rice!

Service was attentive and friendly, and the atmosphere was nice and relaxing, until it got busier later in the evening, when a party atmosphere arose. Yes — they still offer sake bombs! 

Thai Me Up is not the only new-ish place in town.

Check out some of these places that opened in the past year.

YOT Bar & Kitchen

2015 SW 20th St., Fort Lauderdale

954-953-9000

yotlmc.com

Bar Rita

1401 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale

954-990-6658

barritaftl.com

American Icon 

911 NE 4th Ave., Fort Lauderdale

954-500-4266

americaniconbrewery.com

Rivertail

305 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale

305-376-3649

rivertailftl.com

 

 

 

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