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New Thai restaurant opens in familiar food location

Signs of a strengthening local economy are emerging as another brand new business opened its doors to the public this week.

Thai Coconut Bay specializes in authentic Thai and Chinese cuisine. The restaurant is occupying the former location of the old China Wok restaurant at 270 Dahlia St. in Pahrump.

John Wie is the co-owner and one of the chefs at Thai Coconut Bay, which is co-owned by Jinfu “Jeff” Shao, owner of the new China Wok Buffet and Grill at 580 S. Highway 160.

As crews were busy making last-minute interior preparations on Monday, Wie said he and his staff are looking forward to giving local residents a true taste of authentic Thai cuisine.

Wie also spoke about the emerging popularity of Asian themed cuisine throughout the Pahrump Valley in the past several years and why his new business is unlike most other Asian restaurants in town.

“We are serving Thai and Chinese cuisine,” he said. “I’ve been working at Thai restaurants for more than 10 years as a chef. People love the food and right now the market is really growing out here. When I look around, I don’t see anyone here that sells draft beer. In our place we will be selling draft beer and bar drinks.”

Additionally, Wie talked about what he believes is the one difference between Thai cuisines, compared to other Asian style dishes.

Balance, detail and variety are important to Thai cooking, which is known for its balance of the four fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal. It also can be quite spicy to some.

“With Thai cuisine you see a lot more herbs in the dishes and it’s very healthy,” he said.

Wie offers nearly a dozen appetizers and half a dozen soups and salads. There are signature noodle and curry dishes along with numerous fried rice dishes complete with Thai and Chinese lunch specials. There’s also a complete separate Chinese food menu.

Diners can also see many of the select dishes the restaurant offers, which are pictured on the menu.

Wie also offers several different dessert items with a Thai flair as well as Thai tea and coffee.

The restaurant seats 100, and also offers a takeout menu.

“We offer take-out and you can also make dinner reservations,” he said. “We want people to dine in style. We’re open from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., seven days a week. We really like to the location because you see a lot of traffic here and it’s well established in the community.”

A soft opening was held on Monday.

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