Blue Elephant to open in Oakley

From the Enquirer:

Two restaurateurs from San Jose will soon bring a taste of Thai food from the West Coast to the Queen City.

Saowanit and Somsak Wongtouwan plan to open the Blue Elephant, a Thai bistro and sushi restaurant in January along Wasson Road in Oakley.

Am I missing something?  Don’t we already have a ton of Thai food in the Cincinnati area already?  In that immediate area, Green Papaya, Bangkok Bistro, Lemongrass, Wild Ginger, Ruthai… I’ve got to be missing a few.  I can’t keep track.  I wonder why the brothers made the choice to expand from San Jose to Cincinnati, and to an area that is already saturated with Thai food?  The article notes that they have a cousin here who owns Ban Thai in Eastgate, but it still seems like a curious choice.



20 thoughts on “Blue Elephant to open in Oakley”

  • I agree that this seems like a curious choice, especially the location, right next to RP’s and right down the street from Green Papaya. Since I frequent RP’s, my friends and I have had this conversation recently and we all agree that there is enough Asian food in the immediate area already. Someone suggested a Greek restaurant would be a great idea and I agree. At least something a little different. Needs to be open late night too, with RP’s and The E right there.
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    • Ooh, Greek would be good in that area.

      I’d love a Thai restaurant downtown that is open late. We haven’t had one since Arloi Dee left to focus only on their Mason location.

  • So that’s what’s being built in the lot next to RP? Late night will be a must after RP’s Wednesday Mug Club night. I do love Thai, but yes, it’s already difficult enough to decide where to go for pad Thai in my neighborhood because each friend has a favorite… Amarin is the best, IMHO. Thanks for the info, Julie!

  • I live in Oakley, right down the street and was really hoping for something different. I couldn’t believe it when I saw that it was going to be yet another Thai place! Oakley could really use a good cafe, something in between the bar food and up-scale restaurants, that serves a good brunch (and a focus on local ingredients would be nice too!).

  • We do have a lot of thai food in Oakley. However, if this one delivers (HINT HINT HINT if the owners happen across this blog), it would a really great addition to Oakley. I miss Mai Thai in Alexandria VA that used to deliver in the the Winter months. I really think that the area needs a good Asian (thai, chinese, whatever) place that does delivery.

  • Asiana delivers. We’ve used them for years as our “I’m too tired to cook” go to restaurant. And they’re good to sushi delivery too.
    What we really need is an Indian restaurant that delivers.

  • this is hilarious. i think cincinnati has the most good thai food of any city i have ever lived. that is very kind hearted of them to bring the taste of the west coast, or you know, thailand, to us.

  • You know what would be nice for a late-night Asian place next to RP’s – something that not every other place in Hyde Park/Oakley/Mt. Lookout is doing? Dumplings. Yat Ka Mein has some nice dumplings on the menu, but they’re more appetizers. I want a whole menu devoted to them!

    (*Is* there a dumpling restaurant anywhere in Cincinnati? Let me know if there is, because I’ve wanted one ever since a trip to NYC two years ago.)
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  • aside from the handful you mentioned in the immediate neighborhood, the list doubles or triples in size when you look at the greater cincinnati area: clifton, white oak, colerain and western hills all have at least one or two thai places.

    you know what? i’m not complaining. i agree with cincinnati bites: the more, the merrier. i love being five minutes away from basil noodles and spring rolls at all times.

  • The other half and I stroll in- excited and anxious. That’s about as far as the positive experience went. The ambiance is great, but does not make up for the lack of service. We sat there for 20 minutes before being told our meals were just now being rushed. Great. The management did little to compensate- nay, they did nothing.

    If you want a fun atmosphere accompanied by mediocre Thai cusine- this is your place. The horrible service made our first visit into our last.

  • Julie,you are correct that there are a lot of Thai restaurants in this area — but it should be noted that the quality of Thai in the Queen City pales in comparison to other cities with larger Thai populations like Chicago. If the Blue Elephant is better than Lemon Grass, which is mediocre at best, it will be a welcome addition to Cincinnati. — Sean

    • Very good point, Sean. The best Thai meals I’ve had were in places that had larger Thai populations, with Cincinnati just doesn’t have (for the record, a little place in Amsterdam and recently in Fresno, which has the largest Mung population outside of Thailand). I think, perhaps, I should clarify: we don’t need any mediocre Thai food. I have not yet tried Blue Elephant, but I haven’t heard anything that leads me to believe that it isn’t medicore.

    • Sean: What’s your favorite Thai in Cincinnati? And what makes the Thai places in Chicago any better, specifically? Just curious.

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