By Ryan T. at 2016-11-04
I normally do not post on Yelp because I think half the ratings are total BS. However, Jow Nai is outstanding. I have tried just about everything on the menu, and it consistent every time. As far as delivery? They have used a third party system which I was told will be discontinued because it was not effective. Do not sleep on this place!
By Mandy C. at 2016-04-15
Jumped on the Thai Wagon and tried this place out. It has taken me way too long to try this restaurant out because of a couple reasons: The outside of the building looks vacant and I thought it was permanently closed from time to time. The building is small, like a cafe, so it's not meant for groups.
Ordering Take-Out is suggested. Regardless, the service was great! My boyfriend and I ordered the Crab Rangoon, Beef Lover, and the Massaman Curry. Great portions, perfect balance of flavor. The Crab Rangoons were delicious and full of chunks of crab. The Massaman was not the spiciest I have had, but I am sure you could ask about that. Not much of a beef lover, but I loved the sauce that came on it! I think it had brown sugar as one of the ingredients. So full that we could barely curry ourselves home.
By Judy L. at 2016-05-24
I was very disappointed with this food. The tom yum was inedible. It was so salty, I had one sip and threw out the entire large order ($12.95). The infamous pad thai was so gross. Not authentic at all and really just disappointing. The flavors weren't great, the noodles were so thin, and the sauce was not right. The only dish that was decent was the volcano tofu. Great tamarind sauce and it went well with the crunch vegetables. The service was wonderful though. Even though it took them one hour (with only one table in the restaurant) for me to get my food.
By Chelsie N. at 2015-05-09
Ordered takeout from here and was pleasantly suprised with how yummy everything was. Got the crab ragoons based on the yelp reviews and they did not disappoint. Very crunchy and filling. Also got shrimp pad thai and it was delicious! Shrimp were HUGE and lots of them.
Great neighboorhood gem, will definintely be back.
By Michaeleen W. at 2016-01-19
Best Thai food in the city. The curries are the best. My favorite are the red and the green. The veggies a fresh and the curry is creamy and comforting. The food is also very consistent. Also get the the tom ka soup, super yummy if you like coconut base broths. The crab ragoons are the best I have ever had, great crab to cream cheese ratio. Make sure before you go there you check the hours or call to see if they are open, there hours are a bit different, they are not open Monday and Tuesday and sometimes open late or close early. Make it work though because you need to check this place out.
By Angela M. at 2015-06-03
When Jow Nai first opened, I avoided the place even though I lived across the street at the time. I had ordered from there 3 times and always seemed to have a problem with my order (once I was given the completely wrong order, next time I wasn't given one of the dishes I ordered, and finally, there was meat in a dish I specifically asked for no meat in). These were all operational errors, not any indication of the food, but it was still annoying enough that I didn't want to go there.
Perhaps they just needed to work out some kinks, because after hearing so many great reviews, I gave it another try! I've been back a few times since, and they've definitely improved, by a lot!
Food is delicious. Even though I'm stuffed, I still want to eat more! I've tried several dishes on the menu, and not a single one was off. The dining area is small and quaint. I've never had an issue with seating, but I suppose if you arrived at peak hours, it may be more difficult.
By Mitch R. at 2016-04-08
Ha, I just can't even. Ordered at 645, it arrived at 845, delivery, some kind of driver delay. But I bet the food was ready at about 7 since it was all cold. The people there are really nice tho. Anyway the food sucks, pad Thai was actually all one piece... All the noodles stuck together and tasted like it was made with donkey meat. Fresh rolls were decent. Potstickers also obviously cold, horrible. I even got a $15 large tom yum and it sucked, not just the cold part, just sucked. Im not sure if they even use actual lemongrass there.
Listen to me, I'm a Yelp reviewer.
By Sudhi K. at 2016-03-04
Very boring place.. Expensive. Food quality is good but taste is not great.. Hmmm may not visit again
By Sabrina I. at 2016-01-03
My ultimate favorite place to eat Thai food at! I drive 45 minutes to come eat here. It's so worth it!! They have great Thai dishes! I had the egg rolls, crab ragoon, and squid for an appetizer with friends. I had the Tom Ka soup which was so good too!! It had the right blends of veggies and chicken in it. I enjoyed every bite. They were all filled with great flavors, and the sauces that came with each of them were truly amazing! I had the Peanut Lover entree. My ultimate favorite dish here!! Started out with 1/2 a star, but added more hot sauce to it (Next time I'll get the 1 star or 1 1/2 star). Food came out great as always. My entree was filled with flavor and spice! Definitely will come back here again!!
By Erin L. at 2015-05-10
Yes just yes. Thai food is my favorite and every dish I crave was perfectly executed.
The Tom ka soup had a coconut broth that was addicting. I could have just drank 5 bowls of this stuff.
The spring rolls were fresh and I always love the touch of mint. However my one critique of the night was that the peanut sauce had little flavor and was a bit watery.
For my entree I had the yellow curry which was once again to die for. The flavors were spot on and they even added sweet potatoes which was a welcome addition.
I do wish they had booze though.....I wonder if you can BOYOB? I mean this is Wisconsin.....
By Sadie K. at 2016-03-30
This place has the best Thai food! If you get the green curry you will not be disappointed. I live in Minneapolis now, but miss the times we used to get Jow Nai once a week. Can't wait to come back!
By Kelly B. at 2013-12-16
I have been anxiously waiting to try this place. Every time I drive by the flashing open sign is on, and the interior is just black. Finally it worked out and Kenzie and I were able to sit down.
When we walked in the only staff member asked if we were dining in or taking out. We opted to dine in and were seated by the window. There are about 8 tables, and a 'bar' with maybe 5 stools. It was freezing in there, which sucked. We both left our jackets on for dinner. We were watered eventually and left to look at the menu. There was only one other table in the restaurant and they were seated at the other end of the room, so the privacy was nice. (While we were eating our appetizers, she seated another couple directly next to us!! It was very awkward being able to hear everything each other were saying, especially since the guy kept telling the girl not to eat too much so they could have sex when they got home...nice.)
We ordered the fried spring rolls and the crab rangoons. I have a lactose intolerance, but usually pick out some of the cream cheese and still enjoy the flavor. They stuffed these rangoons with so much cream cheese that one bite had it splooging all over the place. I scraped some out and continued eating - nothing to write home about. The spring rolls were good.
For entrees I ordered the Massaman Curry, and Kenzie got the Volcano Chicken. We were both disappointed to realize later that we weren't asked to specify spice, and both had extremely mild dishes. The flavor in the curry was fantastic. I loved the blend of white and sweet potatoes, and the chicken was good in it too. Kenzie mentioned that the volcano chicken was much different than she imagined, but that she liked it too.
My main issue here was after our meal. Not only did we sit unattended for over 25 minutes after finishing, but when our sever came back over, she was visibly uncomfortable. She said that the chef demanded to know why I left so much cream cheese on my plate. I asked her why? She said that the chef insisted she asked me. I told her sourly that I had a lactose intolerance and chose to eat what I was able to. If the snotty ass chef would like to improve on her dish, or was worried that I was not satisfied, she definitely went about everything the wrong way. Sending a timid girl out to confront me was wrong, and approaching the situation with an accusatory attitude got my back up immediately.
I think that the audacity of a chef that demands to know why I chose to eat my food a certain way, is a chef that belongs in a taco bell.
It's frustrating to me, because the curry really was wonderful - but I would not eat in here again.
By Danielle N. at 2016-04-13
I love Thai food. I've tried many different places in the Milwaukee area and this ranks among the top. I've tried both the green curry and the pad Thai and both were excellent. Just two tables and a bar so the place is small but the service was that of a five star restaurant (which this place is to me). If you like asian and are willing to try something new, come here and excite your tastebuds!!!!!
By Tom K. at 2016-03-01
Jow Nai is great! They are a bit on the expensive side, but you get what you pay for (especially with Thai food).
Their curries are all very good, and not too spicy. The crab rangoon is also very good. I recommend the Masaman or yellow curries - those are both go to items.
I don't know that I'd recommend someone to eat there, it is very small, and especially if it is cold outside, I think most of their business comes from regularly opening the door to make deliveries or for carry out pick ups. It might get a big chilly, and ruin the atmosphere.
I like EE-Sane as well, but I think Jow Nai has fresher and more original tasting food, whereas EE-Sane sometimes can taste like generic thai food.
By Carrie M. at 2015-05-05
This 6 table Thai restaurant is a tiny food gem. Attentive, friendly service sets the tone for a lovely experience overall. This was my secind time there, and it was equally good both visits.
I had the green curry with chicken, and had many questions about it. The knowledgeable server was able to answer every one, and suggested she ask the chef to put extra coconut milk in my curry to tone down the spice a bit. I thought of going with the yellow curry, which has no heat, but she steered me away from that when I told her I was craving a rich sauce with a distinct lemongrass flavor. My dish was spot on, as was my companion's, ordered much hotter. We shared an order of fresh spring rolls that were outstanding as well. One thing to know, there is a note in the menu that indicates they are restructuring and cannot serve alcohol at this time (May, 2015) so if that's a big deal, you may wish to call first.
Seriously go for the awesome food. There's plenty of other places to get booze.
By Nancy R. at 2014-07-13
Oh boy, I have been missing out on this little gem. I have passed Jow Nai many times thinking it was a take out joint because it appears so small from the outside. Well it is small, but there is seating at the bar and maybe 6 small tables. It may get crowded, but it was comfortably populated the night I went.
I started with crab rangoon since everyone raved about it. They certainly were filled with more crab than I have ever experienced before and they were yummy! For my entree, I had the green curry and it was delicious. I opted for the extra vegetables and no meat. The veggies were fresh and colorful. The waitress was very helpful. When I asked the difference between red and green curry, she told me green is usually sweeter, but it both can vary depending on the coconut milk they get. She encouraged me to try the red and to ask before I order it to see how sweet it is that day (I prefer less sweet). She also clued me in to other dishes I should try based on my tastes. Cool. Since this is a block from my apartment, I will be returning here often.
By Alex B. at 2015-04-07
First and foremost- wayyyyyy overpriced for thai food. I've gotten amazing pad thai and curry on the East Side for around 8-10 bucks. This was 15 dollars per entree!
Unfortunately the worst pad thai I've ever eaten...and I've eaten a lot of pad thai. The picture on the menu showed the pad thai containing a ton of veggies, and to my dismay the only vegetable it had was a few green onions here and there. The noodles were very bland, so I asked for some pepper flakes. The one employee working (bartender/waitress/hostess) brought me over a large dish of pepper flakes. Now, I also enjoy spicy food, but these were next-level, body on fire pepper flakes. She came over because she saw I was sweating/dying/not eating my food and said "Oh yes, you only need a VERY small dash of that".........would have been nice to know beforehand.
Crab rangoons were very average, not sure what the hype was about.
The seating is extremely awkward...don't sit on the bench, you will be about three feet higher than your friends sitting in the rolly-chairs across from you.
Never going back. Womp womp...
By Tasha H. at 2015-01-08
This place is small and cozy with good food, nothing crazy. I get the feeling that they get most of their business from takeout. First of all, the bar seats are spectacularly uncomfortable. Avoid if at all possible. They are too high for the table and makes it physically uncomfortable to eat. Service was good, didn't have to wait long for anything.
Crab Rangoon: good, lots of crab
Chicken satay: surprised me that it wasn't on skewers, but very tasty nonetheless! Peanut sauce was on point.
Seafood lava w squid: generous portion! Also very liberal with the salt - almost inedible without lots of rice. The squid was cooked really well though and with nice flavor.
I'd like to come back here to try some other dishes!
By James L. at 2016-01-13
Jow nai's curries are sweet nectar from the heavens. Every dish from this restaurant is on point. Steak salads to tangy Tom yum, you cannot order wrong here.
By Josh B. at 2014-06-10
I've made a grave tactical error...
I've moved across the street from Jow Nai. It's going to be incredibly hard not to come here all the time...
The restaurant itself is small, but very well decorated. The attention to detail is phenomenal, and the bar itself is very cool, with different colored woods built into it.
It's colorful, lively, and intimate without being crowded.
The service is friendly, and perfectly willing to make recommendations without trying to up sell you. They sincerely want you to try the best they have. I was debating between grilled squid, and fried squid, and the server straight up told me that normally she'd recommend the grilled, but they had changed the oil earlier that day... So go fried or go home.
It was perfect. The sauce was flavorful without being overpowering, and the texture was spot on.
The soups? Amazing. We ordered the Tom Ka soup which features ginger simmered coconut milk, and words cannot describe how just spot on it was.
The drinks we ordered were a little on the light side when it came to the alcohol content, but I think that might just be my own problem. Either way, the Smoked Ginger (whiskey and ginger beer) was the perfect accompaniment to the meal, and was topped off with candied ginger... So good.
The prices were decent, and we spent about 30ish for two people for a good small meal.
I'll be honest, I'll probably be making this my "call in an order on the way home from work because Netflix can't wait" spot. That's a real thing, right?