During the week of Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in 2007, Cozy Thai Bistro first opened its doors. The style inside was classy and made up for the amount of space. They weren’t kidding when they chose the word “cozy” to describe themselves and even the fact they crammed tables into every usable space didn’t eliminate an almost guaranteed wait during the first couple of years.
The staff was always friendly and accommodating, the food quite good and it was much appreciated when they added a separate vegetarian menu. Even now, we still make it really clear that we don’t want fish/oyster sauces because it is still listed on some menu items in the vast vegetarian section.
The menu has not changed much since those early years and the quality has stayed the same. Because of the nature of this college town, the waitstaff changes over time but they are always good about checking as to what can or cannot be made vegan if they don’t already have that knowledge set to memory.
One thing that changed in late 2009 was that Cozy Thai Bistro moved to a larger location from 454 E. College Ave. to 232 S. Allen Street. Neither location has off street parking but there are more metered municipal lots by their new location.
Cozy Thaiis now a bit brighter with more and larger windows in the front. Their decor and food is still very nice but it there is still frequently a wait for seating and the payoff for that isn’t quite as “cozy” as the original location. It’s actually quite noisy most of the time.
So what happened to the old spot on College Avenue? In the second half of 2010, the same owners opened a short-lived restaurant called Tana Asian Cafe that only had 3 vegetarian options. They must have learned from any mistakes they made so tried yet again in June 2011 by opening Galanga by Cozy Thai in the original College Avenue location.
It took us over 6 months to finally visit Galanga by Cozy Thai. We wondered just how different their menu would be and if they were also tuned into the needs of vegetarians and vegans. Without a microscopic inspection of the menus, side by side, I would say that what Cozy Thai Bistro and Galanga by Cozy Thai offer is identical.
Galanga’s interior has the same charm that we remember it having back in it’s Cozy Thai days but the crowds have thinned just a bit. This may be because their sister restaurant is so well established downtown that it takes some of the urgency off of needing to get your Pad Thai on in only one location. Also, a little after Cozy Thai made its move to Allen St., My Thai opened up across town in Westerly Parkway Plaza and it was only recently that Viet-Thai finally closed its doors at 149 North Atherton.
Don’t be confused or lured by other State College Thai places. If you in the area, are vegan or vegetarian, either Cozy Thai or Galanga are going to serve you the same delicious dishes with the same care to your dietary needs. Neither offer Wifi and the larger Cozy Thai is a lot more family friendly that the more romantic Galanga. From the sweet and hearty Mee-Ka-ti (cannot be made vegan) to the earthy and verdant spirited Pad Khing you can find over a dozen entrées to choose from. If you really like the heat, ask for it Thai Spicy. When you add to that the various appetizers and salads, you can be assured to find something you like every time you visit, either location.