Cooking on a truck is a culinary challenge unlike any other. You have limited space, limited ingredients and a shorter window of time to get an order out the door… or window should we say. Occasionally a successful truck will stretch their wings and move into a brick and mortar location. With that usually comes more complex recipes and increased menu items. Earlier this year kBird announced the move to a fixed location and this week they opened the doors.
If you ask Little Rockers what is the most under represented ethnic food in the area (and we have), you usually get Thai. Little Rock needs a solid Thai option and is about to get it now that kBird is turning their successful food truck into a restaurant. So we were really excited about the new space.
kBird has been serving up quality Thai street food since 2012 offering favorites like pad Thai, fried rice, and various curry dishes, and has become a favorite at many food truck meets. Owner Richard Glasgow focuses on fresh food that holds to the traditional Thai recipes.
We stopped into their new location today at 600 N. Tyler in Hillcrest, which will be open from 10:30 – 6:30, Monday through Friday.
Glasgow is hoping to keep things low key as they start up. You can see signs of that philosophy everywhere. There is no sign outside the small restaurant tucked away in a residential area of Hillcrest on the corner of Tyler and Woodlawn. Inside you find a just a few tables, some bar stools, a basic counter, and very few decorations.
What will keep this place from being low key however is the seriously good food he is cooking up. We grabbed his standard Thai fare a pad thai, and it is easily the best thai option in town. All fresh ingredients, a good spice, and an overall fantastic balance of flavors. I’ve had Thai in a lot of great Thai cities like San Francisco, from his initial offering this would fit right in.
The menu for now is simple, just the dishes he frequently served on the truck. Except the menu to grow over time. I am personally hoping for some Thai beverage options like Thai tea, and Glasgow said he hopes to have a Vietnamese coffee soon which is also a great drink.
Along with kBird, Southern Gourmasian should be opening their location in downtown Little Rock soon, which will feature our favorite food truck dish in the city. The challenges that chefs have to overcome on a truck to make quality food is a lot of the reason why I think we will see a number of successful restaurants come out of the local food truck community. Be sure to come out to our food truck festival, Food Trucksgiving, this Saturday in Bryant to taste what some of the future great chefs in the city have to offer.