October 27, 2015
Phuket Thongsodchaveondee is bringing his curries, noodles, and morning glory to Wynwood.
The former Makoto cook who’s MiMo restaurant was named New Times’ best Thai restaurant this year will reopen Cake Thai Kitchen on 29th Street near Second Avenue mid-2016. The move began about six months ago when Javier Ramirez, who along with Leopoldo Monterrey back Bradley Kilgore at Alter, first ate at Thongsodchaveondee’s ad hoc spot.
“As soon as we put that food in our mouths we said this is it,” Ramirez said. “Either we need to buy them some chairs or tables or we need to do something with them.”
Thongsodchaveondee, who goes by Cake, opened the place on Biscayne Boulevard in October 2014 with help from his mother May Mazza. The two managed to lash together an unprecedented array of Thai dishes that stand in stark contract with the vast majority of Thai restaurants around town.
Among the offerings were a house fermented sausage, Penang pork belly, and chili paste with squid and salted egg. What struggled, however, was the service and cleanliness of the place. To this day the doors, which promise to open at noon during the week, sometimes remain locked until 1 p.m. forcing loyals to stick around or wait until another day. Still it was never enough to push off those who realized Cake was offering something special in a town awash in ketchupy pad thai.
“The obvious part of the goal is to make sure there are sufficient resources added to the mix to strengthen him and make sure it’s going to be more polished,” Ramirez said.
The casual spot will offer 40 seats and will fill a desperately needed hole in Wynwood. The dining in the neighborhood hasn’t quite kept up with it global art panache. Slotting Cake in alongside Zak the Baker’s forthcoming bakery and restaurant, Alter, and Panther Coffee is a reason to hope.