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The Smiling Elephant
Thai Restaurant$$
Today 11:00 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 – 9:00 pm
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2213 8th Ave S Nashville, TN 37204
2213 8th Avenue SouthUSTennesseeNashville37204
$$Thai Restaurant, Asian Restaurant
Thai Restaurant
Asian Restaurant
Southeast Asian Restaurant
Fine Dining Restaurant
Today 11:00 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 – 9:00 pm
Monday 11:00 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 – 9:00 pmTuesday 11:00 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 – 9:00 pmWednesday 11:00 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 – 9:00 pmThursday 11:00 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 – 9:00 pmFriday 11:00 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 – 10:00 pmSaturday 5:00 – 10:00 pmSunday Closed
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Review Summary
4.4
49 reviews
5 star
29 reviews
4 star
15 reviews
3 star
4 reviews
2 star
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1 star
1 review
Snug, cottage setting for Thai specialties (including gluten-free options).- Google
"The food is excellent, and the pad thai and cashew chicken items are amazing!"
"Smiling elephant is the best thai restaurant i have ever been to, hands down."
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Jeff Owen's profile photo
Jeff Owen
a week ago
Great food and great atmosphere! I had the karee curry (sp?) - Tuesday special, and my colleague had the pad woonsen (glassy noodles). Both were excellent! So glad I tried a new Thai place over some of the other places I had been to regularly, in the past. This place is quite small, so you probably want to get there relatively early or plan to wait. We arrived about 1140a, or so. The server also said the pad thai and the cashew chicken were the most popular dishes.
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Neil Andrews
3 months ago
Exceptional food, reasonable prices and expedient and congenial service. Pad Thai has always felt like a filler pasta meal to me, but no longer. Smiling Elephant's is completely different than any other I've tried - we always order it vegan and it's light and refreshing, but filling. Not the typical Americanized-Thai...everything we're ordered has been excellent. Good sized portions, as opposed to the physical space itself, which is rather cozy (seriously limited seating). Parking can be cozy as well, but there's more around the back of the building. Typically, if you're not there at opening, you'll wait a bit, but it's worth the wait!
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Billy Mitchell
8 months ago
I ordered Pad Thai, even though I wanted to try other items on the menu, because they are known for their unique twist to it. It was unique and very IMO. My girlfriend ordered massaman curry which she really enjoyed. I had a couple of bites and it was on point.
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Jason Kubit
3 months ago
Awesome food. Great atmosphere
Rhys Kay
2 months ago
Five years ago or so, the Smiling Elephant was top quality Thai food. My wife and I went in this evening (5/19/15). We ordered a takeout meal of vegetable stir-fry and chicken pad Thai. We then walked across the street to sit on the stairs and eat our meal. As we were eating, my wife pulled out a piece of cabbage for me to look at. It was moldy. I took the cabbage back in to bring it to their attention. The young girl at the register apologized and refunded the meal. The older woman running the front of the house proceeded to tell me that the cabbage was fine. She said it was “Chinese cabbage”. I am familiar with Napa cabbage because I use it on a regular basis, as I am a Chef. I also know what mold looks like. The older woman then reprimanded the girl at the register for giving us a refund and told her that half of our ticket would be coming out of her check. This is ridiculous as this was the kitchen’s error and had nothing at all to do with her. She was just trying to do her job and the right thing. Tonight experience makes one long for the Smiling Elephant of 2010.
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Response from the owner - 2 months ago
Hello Rhys, I apologize for the experience you had tonight at the restaurant. As the owner of the restaurant, I will ensure that the refund does not come out of the cashier's check and will speak with the manager on hand. You are right to say that this was not her fault. As I was not there at the time, I cannot speak on the situation, but will speak with my kitchen staff on the quality of the vegetables. I apologize again for the experience you had and hope you will allow us to earn your business back. Thank you Guy The Smiling Elephant
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Cherie Larkin
5 months ago
My boyfriend lived in Southeast Asia for five years and when we walked in he said it smells like real Thai food. And it was. Most delicious. The fresh rolls were great, cashew chicken was great ...just amazingly good food!
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Jim Beckham
a year ago
This is REAL Thai food! The dumplings took me back to the streets of Bangkok many years ago when I lived there as a teenager. Their Tom Yum Goong (lemon grass soup with shrimp) is perfect. The chicken and cashews is outstanding. They even serve duck--just like you'd get hanging in the glass displays in Thailand--with their amazing pad thai. You won't find Thai food like this unless you go to Thailand, and you're not likely to find better if you do. Thanks, Sam, for spending time with us and showing us the pictures from your trip! Ahan aroy dee. Kop Khun mak!
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Edward Centofante
a year ago
Prices are a little high for the portions but the food was excellent. Drunken noodles (pad kee mao) were better than I expected in Tennessee, and they actually made it spicy like we asked. Wife loved the "fresh rolls".

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