In the mood to welcome the new year with something spicy, I swung on over to Thai by Thai.

Stepping into the restaurant nestled between Coney Island Deluxe and Anchors End Tattoo on West First Street, I remembered, with longing, grouping several tables together in their dining room for friend dinner dates.

I ordered the chicken pad grapow with a side of four small Thai spring rolls (two didn’t make it home).

The spring rolls were crunchy with squishy insides of veggies and rice noodle — made complete with a side of runny, zingy, sweet-and-sour sauce.

The entrée flooded my taste buds with an all-encompassing and exquisite spicy flavor. It's made of moist knots of ground chicken, onion, green shards of Thai basil, red stir-fried hot pepper and garlic. It's all sautéed in a delectable Thai basil sauce that pooled at the bottom of the container.

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Formerly Sala Thai, this was renamed Thai by Thai in September 2018 when Sumlee Beede sold the biz to her younger sister Supannee Stamm. Its new name is meant to distinguish its authenticity, Thai food by Thai cooks.

The restaurant dates back to 1999 in Duluth. It has had a couple of moves, including a spot in Woodland, but it has been at 114 W. First St. since 2015.

The menu boasts a mix of curries, duck dishes, pad Thai, garlic and pepper pork, tofu and veggies.

Little chili peppers denote an item’s spice level: green papaya salad has one, jungle noodle two. Pad grapow and pad prik khing have a holy three.

Prices for my meal were $4 for spring rolls and $13 for the pad grapow. A decent price for a hearty meal with enough for leftovers.

Thai by Thai

114 W 1st St.

218-728-4822

thaibythairestaurantinc.com