“Out here [there were not] any Thai restaurants,” she said. “So I [thought] a Thai restaurant would be a good option for the local people.”
As Patra’s strives for authentic Thai food, Staley said she tries to get the flavors as close as possible. However, this can be difficult, as some ingredients need to be shipped in from afar, she said.
“[Food from central Thailand] where I come from is famous, or the reason why people around the world know Thai food,” she said.
Staley, originally from Kanchanaburi, Thailand, moved to Magnolia in 2011. She said she worked as a golf course manager in Bangkok and cites it as a reason for keeping her restaurant to a high standard.
As there are no other Thai restaurants in Magnolia, Staley said she hopes Patra’s will help bring some Thai culture to residents.
“A lot of customers here have been to Thailand, and they thanked me for having Patra’s here,” she said.
Staley said the restaurant’s curries are by far the most popular dishes.
“The main thing for me is to try to stay as authentic as possible and to try and make it to order,” she said.
When the coronavirus pandemic began in March, Patra’s closed its dining room for two months, operating to go or through its drive-thru, Staley said.
“The drive-thru has helped me a lot,” she said. “I had the drive-thru before, but I never used it, because [the dining room] was packed every day.”
Staley said she hopes to launch a new menu around the restaurant’s one-year anniversary.
“I work very hard, but I am very happy every day to see and cook and work in the kitchen,” she said.
Patra’s Thai Cuisine
32823 FM 2978, Magnolia
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.