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Lily Phad Thai Cuisine

A new Thai restaurant in downtown Medford is the real deal. Lily Phad Thai Cuisine offers authentic dishes for reasonable prices, and the food is made by hand from fresh ingredients.

Owners Stephen Tazioli and Marco Martinez opened their restaurant Oct. 7, sprucing up the space at 318 E. Main St. with black tablecloths to contrast with the room's dark red walls. The colors and adornments provide a warm, Asian ambience.

The owners met about 14 years ago while working at another Thai restaurant in Medford, Tazioli says.

"Marco's prepared Thai food for about 16 years. He taught me, and we became great friends. Now we have our own place, and we're comfortable cooking just about any Thai dish."

Mild or spicy, Tazioli says the best way to serve Thai cuisine is sizzling hot right out of the wok.

Look for a variety of stir-fried dishes — I tried the Phad Basil — along with noodle dishes, curries, rice, spring and tiger rolls, Thai soups, salads and more made from fresh vegetables and meats.

Diners can choose between tofu, chicken, pork, beef, shrimp or squid for their dishes.

Mushrooms, green peppers, onions, Thai sweet basil, bamboo shoots, zucchini, carrots, cabbage, eggplant and green beans are among the fresh vegetables used in Lily Phad's dishes.

There are many ways to mix ingredients and spices to create an array of distinctly delicious dishes.

I will endeavor to take an adventure through Lily Phad's curries. These sauces are made from scratch from Thai spices and curry paste, along with pickled gkrachai — a kind of root or rhizome — that gives them their full flavor, Tazioli says.

The most popular of the restaurant's daily specials are Phad Woon Sen — glass noodles stir-fried with carrots, mushrooms, onion and zucchini; Spicy Duck Basil; Thai Chow Mein — Martinez and Tazioli toss chow mein noodles and vegetables in their homemade stir-fry sauce; and handmade tiger rolls — made with cream cheese, crab and shrimp and served with homemade, sweet plum sauce.

"We can't make the tiger rolls fast enough," Tazioli says.

Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. Dinner is from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call 541-690-1766.

Take-out is available, and free delivery to any address in Medford is available for a minimum order of $15. Promotions are available at www.facebook.com/lilyphadthai.

— Laurie Heuston

A stir-fried dish with chicken, Jasmine rice and a spring roll at Lily Phad Thai Cuisine. - Bob Pennell