- 2942 Wasson Road, Cincinnati, OH, 45209
- Overall User Rating:
- (3 ratings)
- 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Saturday; noon-9:30 p.m. Sunday
People living in the Hyde Park-Oakley-Norwood axis are decidedly spoiled when it comes to Thai food. Between Bangkok Bistro, Lemon Grass, Wild Ginger, Beluga and Green Papaya, there's a healthy competition, resulting in quality, affordable Thai food and pan-Asian cuisine.
The one-upmanship also has resulted in added flourishes beyond the traditional Thai classics such as ever-expanding sushi menus and innovative fusion dishes.
Located a step into Oakley from Hyde Park and just down the road from Lemon Grass and Wild Ginger, Green Papaya shares more than a few core menu items with its Thai brethren, but also has plenty of enticing menu items to distinguish itself. I ate there with a vegetarian friend.
The mood: Green Papaya sports a newish renovation, which has helped it keep pace with other slick Asian spots. The wood-paneled dining space is organic and suggests an authentic Thai environment. An interior fountain is a nice touch, providing a calming effect. Green Papaya cultivates a Zen atmosphere, from its floating Buddha statuette to soothing ambient music. It's a refreshing departure from thumping house music or muzak heard elsewhere.
The food: For non-pesca vegetarians, the Buddha roll is a great option and quite affordable ($5.95). My vegetarian friend also ordered the dumpling soup; there is also a chicken noodle soup with dumplings for meat-eaters.
Green Papaya offers the standard family of curries, but I was glad to see that the Massaman curry ($10.95) was included (some Thai restaurants leave it off the menu). I'm partial to the just-sweet-enough tamarind-and-coconut-infused curry of which Green Papaya features in its tasty offerings.
Green Papaya is also renowned for its box lunches, which are in-house Thai variations on a Bento box. While it will not satisfy the dyed-in the-wool carnivore, it's a good sampling of sushi, miso, salad and Thai standards at very reasonable prices.
In addition to its respectable sushi menu, Green Papaya offers a nice array of salads, including its Som-Tom, which includes eponymous papaya slices.
The drinks: We went with water to keep things inside the Cheap Eats boundaries, but Green Papaya offers its own take on bubble tea. Those who have an aversion to the mucous-y bubbles in normal bubble tea may want to try the Green Papaya version.
The damage: $24.50. We give Green Papaya the Cheap Eats treatment at our peril. Patrons can run into sticker shock in any establishment that has an extensive sushi menu, but for those in the mood for Thai and sushi - and looking for healthy lunch fare or vegetarian options that are more than just lip-service - Green Papaya holds its own. The restaurant distinguishes itself with healthy salads, soups and entrées that will tempt you to stick around for the pricier fare.