For years, many diners in Little Rock lamented the lack of good Thai food in our city. But in recent years, a few new options have arrived on the scene, making it a little easier to get your fix. kBird has proven to be an excellent lunch option with its brick-and-mortar restaurant in Hillcrest, and the more upscale Kemuri has included some very solid Thai dishes on their menu as well. Now West Little Rock is ready to welcome its own Thai establishment, the recently opened Zangna Thai Cuisine located in the Shackleford Crossing Shopping Center.
Owner Tammy Kanjanakaset says her family is new to the Little Rock area, having recently left California, but they have been in the restaurant business for over 25 years. Naturally, she’s proud of Zangna’s menu, stating, “We offer authentic, made-to-order Thai food all from fresh ingredients.” She says, “This is a family-owned business,” as Kanjanakaset runs the restaurant alongside her sister, manager Al Leach.
We dropped in on the place to see what they had to offer and left quite pleased and hopeful for this young restaurant. The inside is spacious and casual, able to accommodate small parties of large groups. The menu is about forty items strong and includes many of the classic dishes you’d expect from a respectable Thai restaurant.
Kanjanakaset was happy to promote some of their family’s favorite dishes on the menu. One to look out for…the “spicy fish”, for example, with deep fried talapia topped with a red curry sauce, basil, and fried bell peppers. She also recommends their “Drunken Noodles”, a staple at most Thai restaurants — Zangna’s is a combination of stir-fried rice noodles, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, basil, and ground chili with your choice of protein. But she absolutely recommends the “Pahd Kra Pow BBQ Duck”, which she reports as “farm-raised duck from Maple Leaf Farms with onions, bell peppers, sweet basil, asparagus, and house-made chili paste.”
Scanning over the menu, you’ll find a nice selection of appetizers (spring rolls, chicken satay, and deep-fried shrimp rolls), salads (lahb salad, papaya salad), and soups (coconut soup, beef noodle soup). Entrees are a healthy number of curry plates, noodle dishes, fried rice dishes, fish and other seafood plates, and a few desserts like house-made coconut ice cream. Fans of Thai tea of Thai iced coffee will be pleased with their house-made versions, each long-held family recipes.
Zangna is currently open for lunch (11AM – 3 PM) and dinner (4:30PM – close), but they shut down for a brief period between 3:00 to 4:30 pm. Given the general lack of great Thai around town, I imagine Zangna won’t have many problems attracting people to their restaurant…get on over and give them a try.
Zangna Thai Cuisine: 2604 S. Shackleford Rd. Ste. D., Little Rock. (501) 227-7785. Follow them on Facebook.