Baltimore's first Thai restaurant, appropriately named Thai Restaurant (3316 Greenmount Ave.), has a new owner, Thossaphol Mettawiparee. This is his first involvement with a Thai eatery; his restaurant background includes the now-closed Cafe des Artistes, Peerce's Plantation and Michael's Cafe. The former owner, Tussnee Singparu, had to sell the Thai for health reasons.
On the "if it ain't broke" theory, Mettawiparee is keeping the Thai's chef, with his own wife working as sous chef . The menu is the same, and he's using the former owner's recipes for sauces, but he says he's upgraded the ingredients. The kitchen is using breast of duck instead of whole duck in the duck curry, for instance, and jumbo shrimp. Look for a new decor, a new wine list, with wines chosen for their compatibility with spicy, multi-flavored Thai food, and new desserts.
La Scala moves
Little Italy's La Scala, formerly at 411 S. High St., has moved to new and larger quarters at 1012 Eastern Ave. The former spot had only 13 tables; the new location seats 90. The menu is the same, but expect a completely different atmosphere: Instead of pastel colors and cherubs, it's now Mediterranean with tile work and murals.