Q. Hi all, I’m wondering if “thai” in “pad thai” should be capitalized? Thank you!

A. The t in “pad thai,” like the first f in “french fry,” can remain lowercase. And though it’s common to encounter either term with an initial capital, our preference would still be to use lowercase. See CMOS 8.61 and the entries for french fry and pad thai in Merriam-Webster (terms entered in lowercase there but labeled “often capitalized” can usually remain lowercase).

See also our related answer about menu items.