Pad see eew, a traditional Thai pork and wide noodle dish, is one of several dishes also available as a vegan or vegetarian entree with chewy pressed tofu in place of meat.

Gasthaus space gives way to All Thai’d Up

By Robin Garr

Wait! What? There’s a Thai restaurant in the space that housed the German restaurant Gasthaus for nearly 30 years!?

Yep, and the new arrival, All Thai’d Up, is a good Thai eatery, too. Still, it came as a surprise when Gasthaus announced its departure in a social media post in May 2022.

The owners, it said, decided to take an early retirement, “but hope that someone with the enthusiasm and love for the German culture will step in and take over the Gasthaus.”

That hope didn’t work out, leaving Louisville, despite the city’s Germanic heritage, without a single authentic German eatery, and none in sight.

But All Thai’d Up, which started life as a popular food truck and added a small downtown bricks-and-mortar presence, migrated east to fill the vacant Brownsboro Center space this past July,

The transition from Bavaria to Thailand went surprisingly smoothly, given what a project it must have been to convert Gasthaus’s Bavarian vibe featuring German knickknacks and a simulated white-stone Alpine village to a new Southeast Asian tropical look with Thai knickknacks and simulated thatched-roof beach huts.

Here’s the good news, though: Just as Gasthaus offered tasty German food in a cozy atmosphere and attentive service, All Thai’d up offers tasty Thai food in a cozy atmosphere with attentive service. The food and mood may have flipped to the other side of the world, but it’s still a pleasant and relaxing place to enjoy a good meal.

All Thai’d up opened initially for dinner early, but starting this month they’ve added lunch hours with a separate menu. The lunch menu features a half-dozen Thai soups and salads, which in Thai tradition are substantial enough to serve as main courses. They range in price from $9 (for tom ka gai, lemongrass and coconut milk chicken soup) to $14 (for a grilled beef salad or mung bean noodle salad with pork and shrimp). Nine rice and noodle dishes are priced from $17 (for khao pad gai, egg fried rice with chicken) to $23 (for a curry noodle soup, shrimp pad Thai, or egg fried rice with crab).

The dinner menu is much more extensive, featuring more than two dozen entree options plus starters, but prices are in the same range, from $17 to $23 for most items. Full bar service is available, including craft cocktails, craft and commercial beers, and a modest wine list.

We passed on those options at the noon hour, but I called for a tall glass of Thai coffee ($6) and got a thick, aromatic blend of dark coffee and sweet condensed milk almost sweet enough for dessert.

A pair of fried spring rolls ($5), each cut in half to make four two-bite morsels, were rolled in thin pastry wrappers and fried very crisp and not too greasy. They were filled with chopped cabbage and thin bean noodles plus a few bits of grated carrot. It was presented with a thick, red, sweet-hot chili sauce for dipping.

Another appetizer, a curry puff ($7), consisted of a flaky pastry wrapper the size of your hand, stuffed with potatoes, peas, and carrots and mild yellow curry paste. It came with a gently spicy clear dipping sauce filled with tiny, very crunchy cucumber dice.

Four spicy Thai condiments to fire up your fare.

Only a few of All Thai’d Up’s dishes are marked with chile peppers indicating a non-negotiable hot-and-spicy flavor, but every table comes a set of four bowls of fiery condiments so you can doctor up everything the way you like it.

At first glance the menu also appears not to offer any animal-free options other than a couple of dinner appetizers, but if that’s the way you roll, look more closely: Tiny icons indicate that many dishes can be made vegetarian or vegan by substituting tofu for meat and avoiding eggs and fish-based sauces. Pescetarian and gluten-free are also options for many dishes.

We checked this out by requesting tofu in place of pork in pad see eew ($19), a traditional Thai noodle dish (pictured at the top of the page). A hearty and filling meal, it consisted of wide wheat noodles tossed with thin-sliced gai lan (Chinese broccoli) shredded carrots, bits of scrambled egg, and rectangular strups of pressed, marinated, chewy baked tofu.

The subtle aromatics of chicken broth and coconut milk, lemongrass and salantro elevate the flavor of tom kha gai (Thai hot and sour chicken soup).

The subtle aromatics of chicken broth and coconut milk, lemongrass and salantro elevate the flavor of tom kha gai (Thai hot and sour chicken soup).

A deep white bowl almost brim full of kha gai chicken soup ($9) was excellent, a highlight of the meal. The thin but flavorful broth was made with a mix of chicken broth and coconut milk. The soup was full of goodies, not least abundant slices of boneless white chicken meat plus tender, sweet slices of oyster mushroom, bits of white onion, sliced galangal (a citrusy Asian cousin of ginger), bias-cut lengths of lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves, all topped with fresh cilantro. All these flavors fused into an unforgettably fragrant, complex broth.

A large white bowl alongside was filled with a large, neatly formed mound of white rice decorated with three cucumber slices. Our server suggested pouring the soup over the rice, a suggestion we happily accepted.

A splendid meal for two came to $48.76, plus a $12 tip.

All Thai’d Up
4812 Brownsboro Center

Noise Level: Conversation was easy during a Saturday lunch hour, with decibel levels at a reasonable 58.2dB.

Accessibility: The dining room and restrooms appear fully accessible to wheelchair users.