615 Redwood Hwy Frontage Rd, Mill Valley, CA | Directions 9494137.898754 -122.514663
Good food and service, Westernized Thai food.
My wife and I went to Thep Lela for dinner last Friday night and found the service and food to be very good. While we enjoyed our meal, this is Westernized Thai cooking, meaning that you'll seldom, if ever, get anything too spicey but you'll also miss out on the experience of eating Thai food as you'd experience it in Thailand; not only because of the 'heat ' but because all of the spicing is tamed down. Perhaps they felt that true Thai cooking was too exotic for their clientele.
The restaurant is very attractive and was busy while we were there.
Good Cooks, Terrible Businessmen.
The food at Thep Lela is definitely good. It's not cheap but it is good. Unfortunately, these people have absolutely no idea how to run a restaurant. In multiple visits, I've been told a table would be ready in less than 5 minutes. Each time I waited more than 20 minutes. Most recently, the familty next to me had their kids running around the restaurant and screaming. Multiple people complained yet the management did nothing. The staff is scattered at best.
Amazingly, they do an even worse job with takeout. When you call they require 30 minutes for even the most simple order. When you get there, it's unlikely that it's ready even after 30 minutes. Plus, they make you wait in the chaotic doorway and don't communicate at all. If you like thai food, don't care about the cost and have the patience of a saint, this place is for you. If you can't tolerate basic business flaws I hope you have a lot of hair to pull out on your next visit.
Tasty and Expensive.
Thep Lela is possibly the best and definitely the most expensive Thai restaurant my wife and I have ever been to. We had an interesting appetizer, Kiang Man, that comprised small dishes of condiments that one places inside fresh spinach leaves. The Pad Basil duck was well prepared, with a slow-building heat that retreated enough to let you enjoy subsequent bites. The grilled rack of lamb was tasty, tender, and smothered in a thick, velvety sauce from a family recipe. I tasted tomato, tamarind, brown sugar, peanuts, and the usual complex and subtle spice mix that characterizes Thai cooking.
Service was pleasant, and the kitchen was swift. This was at 5:00 PM on a Sat.
The only big negative in the experience was the lack of air conditioning or fans on a hot day.
For a top-flight Thai meal, Thep Lela is the place.
Best Thai in Mill Valley. Thep Lela is a small place and the interior design helps create a Thai experience, especially if you sit on the raised floor area where guests are required to remove their shoes. The restaurant becomes very busy (because the food is excellent) about 6:30p to 8:00p on the weekend. I haven't been there on a week night, so I can't comment. Thep Lela's food is worth the wait though. Try it! You will love it!
poor service overshadowed decent food. the restaurant's poor service overshadowed its decent food--not worth the wait
Friendly and Yummy. Very friendly and hostpitable service with authentic all-Thai cooking and decor.
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