Family-owned Thai restaurant serves traditional food to Norman community


The inside of Thai Thai Asian Bistro in Norman April 4.

Caitlyn Epes

The corner of Main Street and Pickard Avenue in Norman, Oklahoma houses a small business with a big family atmosphere.

Thai Thai Asian Bistro serves traditional Thai food to the surrounding community, and the restaurant’s owner, Aimorn Strickland, uses her grandmother’s recipes straight from Thailand.

“Over there, when you grow up, you have to know how to cook, so I learned how to cook,” Strickland said. “I enjoy it. I love to cook.”

Thai Thai opened on April 4, 2005, three months after Strickland left working at another Thai restaurant and decided to open her own. Strickland said that she and her husband, who is from Norman, opened Thai Thai to create a place for everyone to enjoy traditional food in a place that is small and intimate.

“We don’t care much about business. Friends and family can come (and) have a place to go eat, (and) that’s why we opened a small (business),” Strickland said. “I see everybody and (do) not think much about business. It’s turned out pretty good.”

The restaurant really is a family affair: Strickland is head chef, her husband is the manager, her daughter works there, and her mother cooks alongside her. Strickland said that her brother-in-law comes to help if things get busy, and her cousin from Thailand helps in the kitchen.

Strickland’s daughter, Madeline, has worked at Thai Thai since it opened. Now 22 years old, she said that working with her family is a good way to make sure that everything is exactly how they want it to be.

Strickland said that she enjoys being able to interact with customers and her family. She said that the family-owned atmosphere allows her to treat her customers as if they were her own family.

“When I cook and I see people eat, I feel so good. People leave here happy,” Strickland said.