When the season of sniffles comes around, Ali's Thai Kitchen has a prescription for easing symptoms and staying well.
Fresh ginger and garlic copiously used in traditional Thai cuisine — along with more exotic lemon grass, galangal and kaffir lime — are folk remedies upheld by modern-day studies as healthful. These herbs and spices infuse dish after dish at the Medford restaurant.
"This season, the soup is the No. 1 that we sold," says Pornjit Pronobis, 52, who manages her mother's restaurant.
Eleeya Smith, also known as Ali, opened her eatery in 1990, when Thai food was relatively unknown in the Rogue Valley. The restaurant quickly gained a following and was singled out for several years running as locals' favorite Asian establishment in an annual poll of Mail Tribune readers. Ali's popularity likely is the product of customers' food being prepared the same way restaurant staff would want to eat it, says Pronobis.
"They like spicy," she says. "A lot of people order even more spicy."