Spice By Thai Select arrives on Near Southside

Cane Rosso isn’t the only new restaurant on the Near Southside. Last week, Spice By Thai Select opened, becoming the first restaurant in the Magnolia May development, the latest phase of ongoing south side revitalization.

The restaurant occupies one of three old buildings being brought back to life by new businesses. Spice’s opening comes on the heels of the recent opening of bar-bar Proper. They’ll soon be joined by a new tapas spot called 24 Plates, slated to open this spring.

Spice comes from the Thanpaisarnsamut family, the same local family that opened Thai Rice n’ Noodle, Thai Select and Thalicious. The menu at Spice is similar to Thai Select’s, with an emphasis on curries, soups, noodle dishes and veggie dishes. Of the restaurants in this mini-chain, Spice is the sleekest, with trendy wood paneling on the outside and patches of exposed brick and a concrete floor on the inside. I absolutely love the color scheme for the walls; each wall is painted a different color, from turquoise to gray to burnt orange.

We dropped by for a quick bite on Saturday night and found some good food and some works in progress. First off, the menu comes in a three-ring binder. A little unclassy for a place that otherwise looks spectacular.

Fish cakes and cucumber salad.

Fish cakes and cucumber salad.

The fish cakes appetizer featured six round cakes that were crisp and flavorful. But they needed a sauce, however. The small cucumber salad that came along with the cakes maybe should have been served on top or underneath the cakes.

One of my favorite dishes at Thai Rice n’ Noodle is the chicken pad woon sen, made with glass noodles. I was glad to see Spice’s version was as good as Thai Rice’s, if not slightly better.

Chicken Pad Woon Sen with julienned cabbage and carrots.

Chicken pad woon sen with julienne cabbage and carrots.

By the time we finished our entree (it was big enough for the two of us), the restaurant was crazy busy, so we opted out of dessert. Interestingly one of the things that was making it so busy was the sheer number of to-go orders, placed by local hospital workers. We sat near the front door and saw plenty of people in scrubs come in empty-handed and leave with bags of food. The only Thai restaurant in this area of Fort Worth, they’re going to make a killing on to-go’s.

Parking is easier to maneuver here than other Near Southside restaurants. There’s ample parking in back, accessible from a driveway on Magnolia, and quite a few curb spaces in front. I can’t say this will last forever, with 24 Plates coming up. But right now, it’s easy-in-easy-out. I’m looking forward to going back.

411 W. Magnolia Ave., 817-984-1800. Open 11:00 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.


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