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A Delicious Heritage

Takhrai Thai Restaurant Welcomes Guests to a Fresh, Friendly Dining Experience

Since opening her first Thai restaurant in 1999, Nikki Bupha has held true to her mission of emphasizing the fresh ingredients and exotic spices of Thai food as well as the friendliness of Thai culture. She first opened Lai Thai Restaurant in National City, then opened a second location in Carmel Mountain Plaza. She opened Poway’s Takhrai Thai in 2005 and it quickly became a local favorite. As the owner, manager, and executive chef, her hands-on dedication to quality has driven Takhrai Thai’s success. She enjoys spending time in the dining room, personally greeting guests and making sure everyone enjoys their stay at Takhrai Thai. “This is important because it speaks to who we are and upholds our traditional Thai heritage,” said Nikki with a smile.

“We try to treat our customers as guests in our home, with friendly service and delicious food!” said Nikki. “The healthy, bold, and delicious flavors from the exotic herbs, freshest ingredients, and spices of Thai food make us stand out from the sea of fast food restaurants.” The menu covers a variety of tastes, from Scallop Choo-Chi, crispy calamari, and garlic-sautéed black mussels for seafood lovers to Tiger Cry Steak or Satay chicken with peanut sauce for those who prefer land-based fare. Popular salad options include the green papaya salad and Yum Nuah, also known as beef salad. “The Pad Thai noodles tickle your taste buds with thin, flat rice noodles stir-fried with bean sprouts and eggs, topped with crushed peanuts,” said Nikki.
Guests can also cool down with Thai iced tea or Thai iced coffee. Regular coffee, tea, and Singha beer are also available as well as wine from an extensive wine selection.

“We try to treat our customers as guests in our home, with friendly service and delicious food!”

Takhrai Thai’s superb dining experience goes beyond the extensive menu. “We try to expose our guests to Thai culture through our exquisite food and special events. For example, during our grand opening we featured Thai musicians and dancers performing at the restaurant,” said Nikki. She added, “The décor is traditional Thai, but with a modern feel. The fountains and music provide a soothing atmosphere to enjoy our delicious food.” The spacious dining room offers areas for large special gatherings such as birthday parties or work events. Outdoor dining is also available on the private patio soothed by its own fountain. For other special events, almost any item on the extensive menu is available for party trays.

Nikki didn’t begin her career in the restaurant business, but it’s here that she’s truly found her passion. “I began my career in the corporate banking world in my native Thailand, working for Goldman Sachs and GE Capital as an asset manager,” she explained. “But in 1999, I rapidly changed career paths, moving to the United States and dreaming of owning my own business.” Her dream’s success has been widely recognized – Takhrai Thai has won the Talk of the Town California Customer Satisfaction Award, City Search Awards, Thai Select International Best Thai Food Awards, and received recognition in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Takhrai Thai has also provided food for fundraising events for Scripps Ranch and Poway schools and donated to other local charities.


Name of Business: Takhrai Thai Restaurant
Owner: Nikki Bupha
Years in Position: 20
Year of Establishment: 2005
Address: 12265 Scripps Poway Pkwy. #166, Poway, CA 92064
Phone: 858-549-1848
Description of Business: Authentic Thai food