Ruan Thai (11407 Amherst) has settled nicely into its expanded and renovated digs — looks great, although seems a bit cavernous when uncrowded — and continues to churn out good food, but the beef mussamun curry in particular has slipped a bit. It was never as authentic or amazing as the only-sometimes-available Nava version, but it used to have rich if overly sweet flavor. Lately it hasn’t gotten the old taste buds jumping much at all. Ruan’s pad prik khing (spicy green beans with choice of meat) remains excellent, the local standard. Recently we also branched out and tried a dish we hadn’t before (what!?), chicken with cashews and spring onions: good savory flavor, although it was more broth than sauce, surprisingly watery. Not bad but probably wouldn’t order it again. Need to eat in rather than take out like we usually do so we can try the lauded yum watercress, which I suspect would not travel well.
I think Ruan has also taken the opportunity to raise its prices — bigger, nicer space, new full color menus, why not? Most main dishes used to be in the $8-$10 range and now entrees are a couple bucks more across the board. Still not a bad value, but not as fabulous as before; appetizers are the best value at Ruan these days.