Jasmine. The word rolls off the tongue with a sensual flair, conjuring memories of its intoxicating fragrance. How fitting, then, that partners Joshua Morton and Natalie Phrompeng (formerly of Thai Orchid in Frazer) should attach such exotic implications to their new Thai BYO, a pristine reclamation of the wildly popular, down-and-dirty live music club formerly known as Rex’s.
Bright, spacious and immaculate, Jazmine Authentic Thai Cuisine offers a wonderful reprieve from the boisterous, fast-paced restaurants so popular in downtown West Chester. Sponged layers of sienna and cream combine with the unusual work of Morton and other area artists to add personality to the otherwise minimalist interior. In the kitchen, Phrompeng and her seasoned chefs offer their take on Thai classics. Most are adapted to today’s health-conscious lifestyle, with lighter sauces and more fresh, steamed, locally sourced vegetables.
At Jazmine, seasonings are accents, not masks, and heat is as subtle or in-your-face as you’d like. Spicy, sweet, salty, bitter and sour find a harmonious balance in the Dancing Sea Salad—grilled squid tossed with hot chiles and served on a bed of fresh mixed greens in a light vinaigrette—and the Lucky Lamb—a sophisticated combination of plump, sweet lamb rib chops, grilled and served in a green curry, honey mustard and rosemary sauce alongside a generous portion of rice and steamed vegetables.
The drunken noodles are a house favorite, as are the vegetarian rice-paper spring rolls and Rolling Stone, jumbo shrimp stuffed with crab meat and served on a bed of panang curry-coated angle hair noodles. A liquor license is imminent, but call ahead so you’re not caught high and dry.
344 W. Gay St., West Chester; (610) 696-3332, jazminethai.com