The fact that I haven't heard of a new restaurant is nothing shocking, as I have always seemed to repel anything cool, trendy or hip. Given that, I suppose that me and Parker, CO have a lot in common-- but Dancing Noodle on the other hand has been written up multiple times by Denver's own Westword, including a Best Thai Food award a few years back.
However sterile and suburban it looks from the outside, inside Dancing Noodle is a refreshing hodgepodge of casual dining mixed with a genuine family feel. We were there on the early side of weekend dining--even for the extreme suburbs-- and walked in to an empty restaurant where we were greeted by a friendly man working on his laptop in the back of the restaurant. He was speaking fluent Thai to a woman whom I took to be his wife, and turned around to speak fluent English to their daughter who was working on her homework.
Our waiter was also incredibly friendly and attentive. He could have come straight out of the Leave it To Beaver Show, with a mop of blond hair and a big cheery smile, but he was able to answer all of our food-related questions quite well, showing a good working knowledge of the menu and cuisine. After I fumbled through our order using my best Thai pronunciation, he very politely repeated it back to me in a way that sounded much, much better.
The first thing we ordered was this fried tofu. It was delicate and super soft, with a wonderful thin crispy layer all around each piece. The flavor was subtle but the dipping sauce packed a ton of flavor. I forget how much I really love good tofu. Good, plain and simple tofu: fried and delicious.
My plate of Phat Se-Ew with its incredibly lovely handmade noodles would have been a great pleasure even back when my pleasure-threshold was much higher. The noodles were thick, wide and cooked to perfection. The sweet marinade balanced well with the beautiful char on each piece of broccoli and shrimp. It might just have been the best single plate of Thai food that I have ever had in this town. My only complaint is that I asked for it at the spiciest level and while it did indeed pack substantial heat, this was definitely a US suburban heat. Still, it was probably for the best as all the simple flavors really popped and those noodles... what I wouldn't do for a bowl of those noodles every night.
My wife got a lovely filet in a rich red curry sauce. Though deep fried, the fish was delicate-- and though I forget what the fish was, it probably doesn't matter because according to this story, most restaurants and chefs don't know either. What does matter is that the fish tasted fresh and the curry was incredible. My wife ordered a level down from the spiciest, but hers seemed to pack more heat than mine, so maybe they got the two confused. I taunted her (lovingly) as she sweated through the last bites, her inner Mexican pride not letting her back down from this spice-challenge. Plus, it was really that good.
We took dessert to go and shared it across the highway in what appeared to be downtown Parker. This ball of coconut ice cream was not enough for a family of four, especially because it was so delectably creamy and smooth; with a refreshing not-too-strong flavor of pure coconut. Like the rest of the meal, it was absolutely amazing.