Before Sunsanee Charoenyothin and her husband, Chauwalit Srivarawong, moved to Boise last November, they did a little sleuthing.
For six years, they’d served customers at Me & Tasty, a brunch and Thai food spot they opened in San Francisco. In Idaho, they wanted to do a Thai restaurant, too. But with a twist. Something different for the Treasure Valley.
Their idea? Myanmar — the Southeast Asian country.
Perhaps you know it as Burma.
“We plan,” Charoenyothin said. “We research that Boise doesn’t have this kind of cuisine.”
Six weeks after launching Nahm Thai & Burmese Cuisine, 577 E. Park Blvd., the secret is out. And judging from online reviews, Boise heads are exploding. Located in the Ram Plaza, Nahm is enjoying the kind of positive feedback frenzy that most new restaurants only dream of whipping up. The restaurant rates 5 out of 5 stars among 25 Yelp reviews. And 4.9 out of 5 stars among 42 Google reviews.
The compliments range from “exquisite” and “delicious” to “this is the real deal,” “knocked it out of the park” and “forget best Thai, this is easily the best restaurant I’ve eaten at in Idaho.”
“We’ve been here three times and gotten different entrees and appetizers each time,” wrote one Yelper, “and I have been blown away EVERY TIME.”
“Wow. I did not expect our takeout to be this delicious. This place is something special,” a Google reviewer added.
Buying the former Pat’s Thai Kitchen, Srivarawong (owner, chef and manager) and Charoenyothin (manager) remodeled the space. The couple, who are natives of Thailand, also brought help from San Francisco — including a chef. “We have friends and family,” Charoenyothin explained, adding that she’s looking to hire more chefs. “But it’s hard, so hard.”
And while Thai dishes are a huge aspect of the menu, Burmese food is what she thinks jump-started much of the excitement. After all, Thai restaurants already exist in Boise, including the recently opened Boise Thai Noodle House, 12375 W. Chinden Blvd. It rates 4 1/2 out of 5 stars on Yelp and 4.6 out of 5 on Google.
“We are the first Burmese restaurant in Boise,” Charoenyothin said. “They never tried the Burmese food before — and our Thai food is kind of, like, strong flavor.”
It’s like the reviewer said — “the real deal.” Not Americanized. Two Nahm entrees are the most popular, Charoenyothin said. Kaukswe Beef ($16.95, sometimes spelled “khao soy beef”): egg noodles and slow-braised beef in a coconut broth. Yellow Curry with Fried Chicken ($18.95) is a traditional Southern Thai favorite: yellow coconut curry, onion, tomato and potato, served with roti, rice and aa-jaaad (cucumber relish).
Reviewers also rave about Burmese-style Tea Leaf Salad ($13.95). It includes house-fermented sencha tea leaf, Romaine lettuce, spring mix, tomato, cuke, fried garlic, fried shallot, nuts, seeds and a squeeze of lemon juice. Love the richness of pork belly? Try Hung Lay ($17.95), “rich and sweet” curry with pork belly, ginger, pickled garlic, pearl onion, tamarind and boiled egg. “Sometimes pork belly is too fatty,” a Yelp reviewer noted, “but this was perfection. SOOOOO good!!!”
Nahm’s business is split fairly evenly between in-house dining and to-go food, Charoenyothin said. The restaurant accepts orders online at nahmboise.com and by phone at (208) 388-8638. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sundays, closed Mondays. Nahm also offers delivery through DoorDash and Uber Eats.
Even with the online love, the small restaurant — which has seating for about 35 diners — is still trying to get the word out. Weekend evenings, however, are busy. “On Friday and Saturday at dinner times,” Charoenyothin said, “it’s packed.”
If you try it? Don’t be surprised if Nahm’s food makes you “feel like you’re not in Idaho,” as one Google reviewer wrote — “in the best way.”
This story was originally published May 9, 2022 4:00 AM.