A new Thai restaurant, Bodhi Corner, is coming to Hampden, setting up shop in the space once occupied by Café Cito on Chestnut Avenue.
It’s the second Thai restaurant from the partnership behind Khun Nine Thai, located in Mount Vernon. One of the partners, Nikki Stevens, who grew up in Thailand, said Bodhi Corner is set to open in later summer.
Stevens said the menu will focus on the cuisine from the Northeast part of the country, featuring dishes that use non-coconut milk, herbs and lots of vegetables. And, she stressed, it will be flexible, allowing to liberally take out or add in ingredients or substitute proteins.
The use of mushrooms, beans or tofu creates more vegetarian and vegan options, she said, and while many associate entrees that cater to those eaters as dull and flavorless, Thai food packs a punch.
In addition to a regular selection of curries, noodle dishes, fried rice and other rice options, Bodhi Corner will have rotating specials, she said. One of the partners is bringing in a relative who owned a restaurant in Thailand for 28 years, and later operated a Thai restaurant in California, to serve as chef.
The owners were attracted to Hampden for its thriving food scene and proximity to Johns Hopkins. But even with all those options, there wasn’t a dedicated Thai place.
“They have a lot of good restaurants, a lot of foot traffic, but they don’t have a Thai restaurant yet, that’s why we see a possibility there,” said Stevens.
Currently, a new stove and ventilation system are being installed in the kitchen. Once open, Bodhi Corner will have sit-down dining and carry-out and, eventually, delivery and catering, said Stevens.
As for the name, Stevens said it comes from the Bodhi Tree, a popular symbol in Thailand and throughout the Buddhist religion.
“When you think about Thailand you think of a temple,” she said, “and most of the temples have a Bodhi Tree.”