Restaurant Reviews

Joy Noodles & Rice

The well-heeled boomers who live in the swank Mizner mansions behind the new Joy Noodles & Rice are already steering their Benzes and Beemers into Joy's cramped parking lot for carry-out cartons of Thai noodle soups and Philippine egg rolls; and they probably don't demand a whole lot in the way of authenticity. This sweet little spot is beautifully decorated in Oriental modern: polished teak, clusters of gaily colored paper lanterns, tastefully framed prints of teapots, and tall vases of bamboo à la Pier 1. The inexpensive menu features a dozen soups and rice dishes and appetizers of dumplings and tempura-battered sweet potato. But what looks like "variety" is illusory. The soups — whether Thai, Japanese, Hong Kong style, or Korean — tend to taste much alike, without the rich, funky, fiery, slightly unsettling depths you might find in tattier joints on Lauderdale's State Road 7 or the far reaches of Western Palm Beach. Which is not to say they aren't tasty. For a quick, cheap meal served by the most gracious staff imaginable, it's hard to find much to complain about. But you won't substitute Joy's when it comes to your craving for the real thing: Your favorite pho master or go-to port for tom yum gai or Indian curry doesn't need to sweat the new competition.