Tucked in at the corner of 18th and Baltimore Streets, Douglas and Nutnisa Hoffman’s new restaurant, Baramee Thai Bistro, has been earning steady accolades since it opened in late January. It’s easy to understand why: from its high-level service and serene environment, to of course, the food, Baramee has a lot to offer its customers.
Baramee Thai Bistro is the sister restaurant to Mali Thai Bistro in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, which has been open for about five years. The two restaurants share a menu comprised of Northeastern Thai-style dishes, including but certainly not limited to laab (minced pork, beef or lamb stir-fry), sticky rice, tom yum (hot and sour) soup and papaya salad.
Baramee Thai Bistro specializes in these, as well as a number of classic Thai dishes, including Panang curry, spring rolls, pad Thai and Tiger Cry Beef, served with an excellent housemade chile sauce made with tamarind, lemongrass, fish sauce and lime juice. Portions are generous, and lovingly presented, sometimes with carrots carved into the shape of flowers (by Nutnisa herself), or sometimes even real flowers, in the case of the not-to-be-missed mango with sticky rice.
Both at Mali Thai and Baramee Thai Bistro, the Hoffmans have cultivated a level of hospitality that is more common at fine-dining restaurants. Hostesses often wear tailored Thai satin suits, and approach guests like VIPs. When possible, Nutnisa (who is often on site, working in the kitchen) comes out to greet guests, asking about their experience.
Baramee Thai Bistro seats approximately 60 diners, between two- and four-top tables in the dining room, a row of bar seats facing into the kitchen, and a handful of seats at the bar, which serves a small but tasteful selection of wine and beer. The interior, including the wood slat ceilings and benches, will be familiar to those who dined at Pizza Bella (which formerly inhabited the space), principally excepting the Thai artwork that runs floor to ceiling on the restaurant’s north and south walls. The updates to the space are tasteful, and have been incorporated seamlessly into what was there before.
The Hoffmans are excited to bring their cuisine and hospitality to the Crossroads. They plan to offer food and drink specials on First Fridays, and in the interim hope to build a customer base as they have done in Lee’s Summit. So far, their plan seems to be working.
Baramee Thai Bistro is open Monday through Thursday from 11am to 9pm and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 10pm.
Baramee Thai Bistro, 1810 Baltimore Ave., Crossroads Arts District, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.442.7070, facebook.com/barameethaibistro