TINY THAI KITCHEN (1405 Danforth, at Coxwell, 416-405-9888) Complete meals for $22 per person, including all taxes, tip and a domestic beer. Average main $10. Open Monday to Friday 11:30 am to 10 pm, Saturday and Sunday 5 to 10 pm. Licensed. Access: barrier-free, washrooms in basement. Rating: NN Rating: NNNNN
In the early evening, a steady stream of people come and go through Tiny Thai, picking up their dinner. They're all, like those of us seated in the restaurant, of European descent.
It makes me want to holler, "People of European descent - get off the junk! Shake that white-powder monkey off your back. You're hurting yourself and all those you come in contact with. Quit making people of non-European descent cook with too much sugar."
At Tiny Thai, the problem is obvious pretty much from the get-go. Tom yuk soup ($4.99), described as hot and sour, is actually hot and sweet. It's full of fresh al dente veggies and even has some heat, but it's ketchupy sweet.
There's less of a problem with the well-executed seafood platter ($13.95). Two plump shrimp spring rolls, two shrimp skewers and squid are all competently grilled or deep-fried, and the small mango salad offers respite from its crunchy platter mates.
Less successful is the grilled beef ($9.95). Little of its proclaimed marinade of garlic sauce is discernable, and the beef slices are chewy. The accompanying coleslaw is a real one-noter, and the soy-chili sauce is syrupy.
Pad thai ($9.95) is pad tired. It needs more life-giving citrus or tamarind and less palate-deadening sugar. The side of crushed peanuts is missing in action, and its absence is felt.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that desserts here are good. The sticky rice with mango ($5.95) is a cube of sweet creamy rice offset by the lively tang of a big fresh slice of mango.
Ironic that this bracing respite from Big Daddy Cane shows up at the end of the meal.
Speaking of sweet, this place could be. The interior has lots of nice touches, the staff are entirely pleasant and if it weren't for the EZ hits going in and out of tune on the nearby beatbox, the atmosphere would be entirely mellow.