One of Suffolk County's most well-known Thai restaurants has relocated to a Copiague strip mall, and it's got an enthusiastic new name, too. For years, the homey storefront on Montauk Highway was home to Simply Thai, and then briefly in 2022 it was Rain Thai. But the spot has changed hands once again and now it's Amazing Thai.
Proprietors Ken and Joy Keattikul ran the popular Thai Angel in Islandia for nearly two decades until they closed the restaurant in 2022. After the pandemic, Joy said dining trends shifted toward takeout and they no longer needed such a large and costly space. The Copiague spot is about a third of the size of their previous restaurant. The humble space has a brightly lit dining room speckled with colorful Thai masks and figurines wearing beautiful golden crowns. An elaborately carved sculpture of a family of wooden elephants sits by the door.
Joy is from the northeastern Thai province of Nakhon Phanom and her husband, Ken, who is the chef, hails from the northern city of Chiang Mai. A 2010 Newsday story noted Thai Angel's distinctive rendition of larb, a ground meat salad and a fragrant composition of orange duck “served in a dish shaped like a duck's head.”
The couple uses chilies grown in her parents' backyard plot in Bellport for curries; the green curry being more spicy as it comes from fresh chilies, while the red (made from dried chilies) is a little mellower.
The menu sticks to tried-and-true Thai-American classics, like a saucy pad Thai made with tamarind sauce ($16 with shrimp) and a fantastically fluffy appetizer of curry puffs ($10) that flakes off onto your fingers. Ken also prepares a hard-to-find noodle curry that regional Thai food lovers rave about. His khao soi ($14 with chicken) looks surprisingly simple with egg noodles bathed in a bright orange coconut curry and topped with chicken and a generous amount of crispy egg noodles. Aside from not having mustard greens, it was a faithful rendition of this complex noodle soup.
Amazing Thai sets itself apart from neighborhood spots with beautifully presented dishes, green vegetable-studded curry in a shiny golden bowl and stir-fried duck tucked into a large anthropomorphic plate. The new menu is smaller than the original and does not list signature larb — Joy said those who ask will receive.
Amazing Thai, 852 Montauk Hwy., Copiague, 631-380-3848, amazingthaicuisineny.com. Open noon-9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1-9 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday.