I recently went to Modern Thai with my friend Dianna. I had passed this little restaurant for years on Polk at Bush Street but never actually stopped to eat there. When we first walked into Modern Thai I was a little taken back to see the entire restaurant was empty on a Thursday night at 7pm. I eventually figured out they do a lot of take-out compared to eat-in as the delivery guy was constantly on the go. The inside of the restaurant is simple and clean. A few of the walls are painted lime green and bright red, lending the "modern" to Modern Thai. Other than the colorful walls, the restaurant isn't modern or hip. It's just a basic large Thai restaurant but it does have a few tables outside on Polk Street for those rare warm nights.
Modern Thai offers all the popular specialties you would find at any average Thai restaurant. Main dishes cost from $7-12 and appetizers $5-8. The menu has a large selection of pan fried noodle and fried rice dishes in addition to entrees that come with your choice of tofu (vegetarian); chicken, pork or beef (for $1 extra); or shrimp (for $2 extra). I was particularly impressed with the Pad See-Ew (flat rice noodles with egg and broccoli), Thai basil with chicken, spicy green beans with shrimp and vegetarian egg rolls. The flavors were good but the dishes didn't stand out from any other Thai restaurant. I did have one major problem with the food in that it came way out too fast and I mean within 2 minutes of ordering. The waiter didn't have time to open our wine and pour our first glass before our entrees arrived. I found this a bit unnerving that the food comes out so fast. When I questioned why the food was done so quickly the waiter told me it was "fresh" whereas I call it "pre-made". I was a quite disappointed that the food wasn't fresh nor made to order. Next time they should wait at least 5 minutes before bringing out the food so that you think it was made special for your table. As for the wine, Modern Thai offers wine specials during the week, $15 for a bottle of cheap red wine. It's pretty good too, but it will produce one heck of a hangover in the morning.
Modern Thai on Polk is an average Thai restaurant. The food is good but not exceptional. I would recommend ordering take-out rather than eating in. The actual restaurant doesn't have much to offer in the way of ambiance or service.