Before Sunsanee Charoenyothin and her husband, Chauwalit Srivarawong, moved to Boise last November, they did a bit of detective work.
For six years, they served customers at Me & Tasty, a brunch and Thai restaurant they opened in San Francisco. In Idaho, they also wanted to do a Thai restaurant. But with a twist. Something different for Treasure Valley.
Their idea? Myanmar – the country of Southeast Asia.
You may know it as Burma.
“We are planning,” Charoenyothin said. “We’re researching that Boise doesn’t have that kind of cuisine.”
Six weeks after the launch of Nahm Thai & Burmese Cuisine, 577 E. Park Blvd., the secret is out. And judging by online reviews, Boise’s heads are exploding. Located in the Ram Plaza, Nahm enjoys the kind of positive feedback frenzy that most new restaurants only dream of generating. The restaurant is rated 5 out of 5 stars from 25 Yelp reviews. And 4.9 out of 5 stars from 42 Google reviews.
Compliments range from ‘exquisite’ and ‘delicious’ to ‘this is the real deal’, ‘knocked it out of the park’ and ‘forget the best Thai, this is easily the best restaurant I’ve eaten at. in Idaho.
“We’ve been here three times and had different entrees and appetizers each time,” wrote one Yelper, “and I’ve been blown away EACH TIME.”
“Wow. Didn’t expect our takeout food to be so delicious. This place is something special,” added a Google reviewer.
By purchasing the former Pat’s Thai Kitchen, Srivarawong (owner, chef and manager) and Charoenyothin (manager) remodeled the space. The couple, from Thailand, also brought in help from San Francisco, including a chef. “We have friends and family,” Charoenyothin explained, adding that she is looking to hire more chefs. “But it’s hard, so hard.”
And while Thai dishes are a big part of the menu, Burmese food is what she says sparked a lot of the excitement. After all, Thai restaurants already exist in Boise, including the recently opened Boise Thai Noodle House, 12375 W. Chinden Blvd. It scores 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’ve never tried Burmese food before – and our Thai food has a kind of strong flavor to it.”
It’s as the reviewer said – “the real deal”. Not Americanized. Two Nahm starters are the most popular, Charoenyothin said. Kaukswe Beef ($16.95, sometimes spelled “khao soy beef”): Egg noodles and slow-braised beef in coconut broth. The fried chicken yellow curry ($18.95) is a traditional Southern Thai favorite: yellow curry with coconut, onion, tomato and potato, served with roti, rice and aa-jaaad (a condiment with cucumber).
Critics also rave about the Burmese-style tea leaf salad ($13.95). It includes house fermented sencha tea leaves, romaine lettuce, spring mix, tomato, cuke, fried garlic, fried shallot, nuts, seeds and a squeeze of lemon juice . Do you like the richness of pork belly? Try Hung Lay ($17.95), a “rich and sweet” curry with pork belly, ginger, pickled garlic, pearl onion, tamarind and boiled egg. “Sometimes the pork belly is too greasy,” noted a Yelp reviewer, “but it was perfection. SO good!!!”
Nahm’s business is split fairly evenly between dine-in and takeout, Charoenyothin said. The restaurant accepts orders online at nahmboise.com and by phone at (208) 388-8638. Opening hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday. Nahm also offers delivery through DoorDash and Uber Eats.
Even with the love online, the small restaurant – which seats around 35 diners – is still trying to spread the word. Weekend evenings, however, are busy. “Friday and Saturday at dinner time,” Charoenyothin said, “it’s packed.”
Should 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.”