Ryan and Sununta Hayworth have seen a lot of change since they were placed on Dishing’s “Ones to Watch” list in 2015: a total restaurant rebrand, world travels, a brewery and sushi bar opening, a growing family, and a new venture into the Missoula, Montana culinary scene, to name a few.
The dynamic duo’s Jackson restaurant, formerly known as The Indian, has transformed into Teton Tiger, “the neighborhood curry spot.” So, why the total rebrand? Ryan and Sununta quickly realized that the initial name was misleading, since they wanted to serve more than just Indian cuisine. So, the astute restaurateurs decided early on that to fill seats, they should pivot. They kept Indian favorites like naan and tikka masala, but expanded the menu’s “East of the Indian” section, drawing on Sununta’s Thai cooking prowess and head chef Mike Ketami’s experience with Japanese cuisine.
The Teton Tiger rebrand has been a great success, and effective marketing a la social media along with a hip yet laid back vibe and tasty cocktails have made the Tiger one of the best low key bar scenes in town. If you’re already a regular, you should think about joining the Blind Tiger Society mug club (inquire within), which lets members reserve tables ahead of time.
Big things are also happening on the other side of the pass for Ryan and Sununta (they own Teton Thai Driggs, while Sununta’s sister and her husband own Teton Thai in the Village– separate yet both delicious). The pair has recently added brewery, taproom and sushi bar owners to their resumes, too.
So, what sort of beer pairs perfectly with Thai food? The answer lies in favorite Bangkok bars and, surprisingly, British pubs. Ryan lived in England for a brief stint, where he developed an appreciation for pub style pale ales, often served alongside Thai fare from small restaurants that were attached to the pubs. Ryan explains, “I always felt like it was some of the best beer I’ve had to go with Thai food, outside of my favorite Bangkok brewery… those pale ales had some of the best flavor: crisp, clean, drinkable. So, we created this British pale ale called the Money Penny. It has a light hop essence, but with low alcohol content.”
Stop by the Teton Thai Driggs brewery (located in the same building as the restaurant) and try this sessionable brew that you can’t help but stick a lime in – we love it with pad thai too! Sununta and Ryan’s passion for food and culture come through in their new beer, as in everything they do.
Dish to Watch: Mango Duck Curry from Teton Tiger. This menu item is memorable: roasted or fried (go on, treat yourself to fried) duck in red curry sauce with succulent mango, oh my. Although, the best way to eat at The Tiger is family style: order this curry along with an order of Shanghai noodles, ramen and traditional paneer Tikka Masala and pass ‘er around.