Wednesday, October 26, 2005

see food? get it?

You guys were pretty active in the comments yesteday, so maybe you're ready for a little interactivity?

Favorite Thai resaurant? I feel like Thai food doesn't get enough props and that we take it for granted we have so many delicious Thai places around here. There may not be any valets parking Hummers outside or girls in silky halter tops with spray on tans talking on their cellies while they wait to get in, or flat screen TVs in the bathroom, but the food is the bomb. I ate at Amarin last night and I find that it is consistently delicious. I also like how you can still get a table there on a friday or saturday night without waiting. If Ella reads this, I would like her to remind me of the name of the place in North Highlands that has the best pad thai. I can never remember what it's called or where it is, so needless to say I don't go there as often as I'd like. Taste of Thai has really good seafood. And I'm on a seafood diet. I see food, I eat it. Har.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

While both Taste of Thai and Amarin are good, I really do think Thai Basil is the best. It's a little more expensive, but totally worth it. Plus you just might get to see some ladies rocking the "J" St. - Sac is the new LA ever since the Beach Hut opened look.

BREW

Anonymous said...

Thai Palace, by a long mile. It's at J & 33rd.

Anonymous said...

Of all the Thai places in Sac, I've heard by far the most widely differing opinions on Thai Palace. Form excellent to horrible. I've liked it both times I've been. I have a soft spot for Amarin for some reason. It seems like their menu is a little more extensive.

miller

beckler said...

oh yeah! i forgot all about thai palace. i think i ate there once years ago and thought it was really good and then i never ate there again.

Anonymous said...

I love Vietiane in West Sac. It's not Thai, it's Laotian, but the difference is far too subtle for me.

G Bomb

katymonster said...

i actually was the teacher for family who owns Thai Palace.

not even all that crazy about Thai food, and i still liked theirs. and, the family is super nice.

Anonymous said...

My favorite is the one out on Fulton. Thai Cottage I think it is called.

Anonymous said...

The place in North Highlands is called Pattaya Cafe. It is really good. If you say to make it hot, they are gonna do it. No whitey food. Great curries and pad thai.

I don't really like any of the thai places downtown. I mean, they are good, but not super great. It seems like they have
tamed down the food for customers.

Nothing is as great as Vientiane. Lao food is also the food of Northern Thailand, so Guff, it is Thai food, just a regional variety.
It is the 'down home' rural kind of northern Thai food, which also is the cooking of Laos, over the border.

Here is my dream lunch at Vientiane:
Garlic Quail, sticky rice, a papaya salad, tom ka gai (hot!), stuffed chicken wings and maybe one of those beef salads.

I'm hungry just thinking about it!

Ella

leon said...

I second that emotion for Thai Cottage on Fulton. It's the only place I've throughly enjoyed Thai food and service in this town.

Bad experiences at other places:

I'd gotten my food "Thai spicy" at Amarin once, which caused me to quickly use up my beverage. The wait staff was no where in site while tears were pouring down my face and flames shooting out of my ears. That sucked.

I went to Thai basil on J, and my food had that wet dog smell of fish sauce, which immediatly turned me off to the place and it's food. It's pricey too. eff that ess.

I ate at the mostly vegetarian place on Broaday once. The food was good but I saw a cockroach running around in the window. Yeah all places have them, but it's not what I enjoy looking at while masticating.

CoolDMZ said...

Amarin gets my vote, for the Popeye dish. meat and spinach have never been better together.

i'm with leon on Thai Basil, eff that ess indeed.

Thai Cottage is also great if you sit in the back by the grotto. Unless you stare too closely at the grotto.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I've only gone once but I really liked Paree's in Town & Country Village. Anyone else ever been there?

miller

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised to see a bloated body floating in that stinky old "grotto". The food isn't bad there, just not enough flavor!

Ella

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmm, sticky rice! I love it!

-Connie

alice said...

thai cottage is a long time favorite of mine. thai palace is really good also, in fact it might be better than thai cottage. the veggies are always super fresh and cooked to perfection. however, the thai place on broadway next 'a taste of thai' is also a well-kept secret. they don't get a lot of business so i try to go there when i'm on broadway. but, they have a lot of interesting specials you won't get elsewhere. i got a pumpkin, salmon coconut curry there once. you might think that's overkill, but it was amazing. i don't know what their other meat dishes are like though.

Anonymous said...

Alice,

I'm with you, if you have to eat thai food downtown, that taste of thai place is probably the best option.

It's not as good as Pattaya though.

beckler said...

pattaya thai. pattaya thai. i'm going to repeat it to myself until i remember it. their lettuce, toasted coconut, fresh ginger, onion sald with dippin' sauce is the simplest, tastiest salad I'VE EVER HAD. I'm serious. Too bad they will torture you by pretending they can't make it. Going there and to the Pussycat theater makes a nice date night for you couples out there.

Anonymous said...

Pattaya makes an excellent post-Denios stop on the way back downtown! Roseville road all the way from Denios to Watt, at which point you take a left, go to pattaya, afterwards you get back on roseville road until it dumps you out onto 80 at the marconi curve.

ella

Anonymous said...

I mean you take a RIGHT on Watt.

when will I learn to tell the difference!

Ella

Anonymous said...

I no nothing about Thai but i did got to the new L and L Hawaiian place on broadway and riverside last night. The biggest plus: no vegetables (except maybe the salad). I got a burger and it was good enough. Sometime i will get the spam and egg sammich.

dn

Anonymous said...

I love Amarin and always will, but I haven't been to any of the new places. The place Ella's talking about sounds fucking delish, so I'm totally going there this Christmas.

I actually don't like ThaiCottage very much. I'm always disappointed with the food, and the wierd suits the dudes wear make me uncomfortable. I like the Grotto though, it's so so Sac....

-michele

P.S. Becky's right though about taking it for granted. There are two Thai restaurants here and they fucking suck!!!!!! But Cambodian is where it's at in Providence so I"m not complaining.

Anonymous said...

amarin by far gets my vote for faovirte thai in Sac. No where can you find such and extensive vegetarian menu. Plus, I really like the people who work there. There is one particular lady who is super sarcastic and funny and even knows peoples orders, names, and birthdate by heart...plus, I think amarin was the first thai resturaunt I went to in sac about 8 years ago, and have gone to at least 100 times since. Thanks Amarin for all of our years together.

-nicola

werenotdeep said...

I have never had good experiences with Thai food, except for peanut sauce, but I use that in my own way.

Every time I've eaten at a Thai place, I order something that seems "safe", and ends up often being served stone cold with more diced up cucumber (I hate cucumbers) than I'd think anybody would want in such a dish.

I ate a Thai "eggroll" in London once that looked like a sea slug. I put it in my mouth, and guess what! It sorta felt like one, too. A lumpy one. There was supposedly meat in it, but there was such a medly of textures that in my mind go together like roast beef and pine tar, that I couldn't tell.

I've never had Thai curry, though, and Suresh Chacko tells me that it's quite good, and I sorta trust his food instincts.

I'm more keen on Indian, and what I want to know is, what happened to Katmandu Kitchen, and is there any word on it reopening?

My word verification is "awweooy", and I'm going to start using that as a catch phrase.

Anonymous said...

I just mapquested Pattaya Cafe and discovered that it's just down the street from where I work. That is so exciting! I work in North Highlands and it's such a shithole so I end up bringing boring lunches to work so I can avoid eating at Jack in the Box and the nasty Mongolian bbq place. But tomorrow I'll eat at Pattaya!-wuwu

beckler said...

that's awesome. and you can stop off at pussycat after lunch. or is that where you work?

Anonymous said...

Grace-
try the Arbat deli next door sometime. Good smoked fish and salami and other eastern european snacks.

Ella

Rosemary said...

Massamum curry at Amarin hands down.

Anonymous said...

there's a thai place on sunset in LA east of the 101 that has thai elvis. that's my favourite--surprisingly authentic! here, amarin is consistently good, but taste of thai on broadway has freshest, most delicate tofu. oh, and the yellow curry dish at andy nguyen's is also fantastic (more thai than vietnamese?).

katymonster said...

i love that nothing gets this town talking like food

Anonymous said...

There is a new Thai place opening soon at 37th and J

ammmmmanda said...

chada thai next to taste of thai on broadway has a great squid salad. Lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, lemongrass, squid, onions etc.

Anonymous said...

What building is the new Thai place at 37th & J going in to? Figures I'd move & a Thai place would open!

miller

Uneasy Rhetoric said...

37th & J? That's the old KFC.

Anonymous said...

I refuse to eat at the Thai place next to Taste of Thai. What kind of jerks open a Thai restaurant next to an established one? They are the starbucks of Thai restaurants and I am boycotting.

G Bomb

beckler said...

ooooh..but did you read the phrase "great squid salad?". I'm there. But I go to Starbucks sometimes, too, for the squid spice latte. Is it really established which place opened first? Cuz I can't remember.

alice said...

G

I actually think Chada was there first. It just didn't have a very prominent sign and was closed down for renovation for a long time. I'd always see it and shudder--it didn't look like a very good place to eat.

In response to anonymous,

i think Chada is better than taste of thai. and i go there cause they're the underdog with less customers on any given day.

scott,

yeah, it's the KFC and boy is it going to be weird eating thai food in an old chicken 'n biscuits joint. i think that about makes the block complete. that, and the new get your frozen yogurt by the ounce place that used to be the party store.

beckler said...

which brings to mind the question: who opens a froyo store in the year 2005 in a location that is notorious for the large number of failed businesses that have occupied the space?

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure that Taste of Thai was there when I worked at Tower (back when Tiger Trap was being so influential) and what is now Chada was an Indian place. Certain, in fact.

G Bomb

Anonymous said...

Taste Of Thai was Kagetsu if I'm not mistaken. And Chada was a Chinese bakery. Both switched to Thai around the same time - the confusion lies with the fact that neither of them did anything to the interior or exterior besides changing the sign. So they both seem like they've been there forever. Seems like coincidence to me that they're next to each other. I'm pretty sure they opened within a month or so of each other. I go to Taste of Thai more because I like how it looks inside better. Both are pretty good.

miller

beckler said...

miller is correct! chada used to be the jungle bakery. i remember them opening around the same time. if you would have taken off the earphones of your archaic walkman and stopped listening to tiger trap for 5 seconds, perhaps you would know this, g bomb.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Chada used to be Cafe Broadway, a bao place which was also the first place I ever worked. I probably sold you a pork bao or two, G Bomb, when I was fifteen. Did you work with a creepy dude named Robert? You worked at Tower Books, right?

As for Chada, I think it's probably the worst of the downtown Thai restaurants. I've only been there once, but I thought it was bad. And that's hard to achieve with Thai food for me.

BREW

Anonymous said...

Oh, I know you did Brew. We called you Young Drew Barrymore.

And yes, Robert. Sorry about that.

And I loved those coconut bao.

G Bomb

Anonymous said...

Where was the Indian place? Further down the block? I remember an Indian place.

I don't know how your memory is so much better than mine, miller. I'll work on killing those extra brain cells this weekend.

I love my walkman!

G Bomb

alice said...

all this doggin' on the chada is making me want to eat there more. but, maybe you guys will prove to be right and i just lucked out the few times i've gone. i swear though, those were some GOOD meals, and i'm picky about my thai.

becky,

that froyo place is actually doing pretty good. i was there the other day and saw a bunch of teens hanging out in the parking lot and wandering the extensive toppings selection together. it's THE place for young lovers.

katymonster said...

the Big Spoon is amazing.

fresh blueberries as a topping?!?

and it's doing really well there....

Anonymous said...

Better than Art OF Party? Impossible!!

miller

Anonymous said...

Man, so many comments about Thai places and no one mentioned the one at 26th & J shut down (probably partly due to reserving food from customers plates). That was the old Thai place, not the "new" one that's been open about 4 years or so.

Anonymous said...

Yo miller! I used to eat at Paree's everyday when I worked at Sally Beauty Supply at T&C Village. I couldn't remember what it was called but I remember it being pretty good. They were really nice and used to bring me complimentary Thai iced tea while I waited for my to-go order. Thanks for reminding me... not that I'll be going there anytime soon, I'm stuck with Amarin NYC.

Johnny

Anonymous said...

I don't know that anyone is going to read this since I'm the 48th comment, but I echo the !yeah! for Thai Palace and Amarin and the
!boo! Chada sentiment.

I also ate at a Thai restaurant on Franklin, the name escapes me. I really wanted to like it, but the food didn't impress me. I would return in a heartbeat because there was something I liked about it.

Anna

Anonymous said...

It's Siam on Franklin!

I totally forgot about that one. Not my fave, but ok.

Also, I want to retract an earlier statement. When I said I liked Taste of Thai, I was thinking of that other, janky Thai restaurant at the end of broadway, down by the electrolux store and carls jr. NOT the place that was once Kagetsu up by tower.

It's called THAI SPICE.

I like that one ok, but not that taste of thai. It's too fancy and too land park for me.

Ella

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the place at 26th & J (pre Thai Basil) Bamboo? Was that Thai?

Also, regarding Thai Spice, my ultra-unadventurous dad asked me not too long ago if I liked Thai food and after the initial shock, I said yes. He said "I know a great place" and we proceeded to Thai Spice. I can only imagine how my dad found it. I can't say I hate it because I kinda love it's ex-disco interior but there is something SO janky about it! And my dad got fried rice. Take it slow dad!

miller

Anonymous said...

Straight to the Dome! some M-Fing fried rice!

James Dozenbeer said...

There's a Thai place in Alameda that's actually called "Thai Place." I wish it were really good so I could champion it, but it's sort of not. One thing is has going for it, though, is that it's next door to a dive bar (some psuedo Irish pub dive) that plays really loud bar music, which seeps through the walls to the degree that it's difficult to have a conversation while you're eating.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Thai Basil used to be Bambu. It was aisan food, but not exclusively thai. Heather (Pabon) used to work there and told us so many gross stories about it (like the chefs stir frying uneaten portions from bussed plates into new dishes, to dudes pouring the bloody mop water from the cold storage into the storm drains) that I'm not surprised that they closed.

Niki

Anonymous said...

Dozenbeer gave Bambu a mediocre review in SNR & the owner hit the roof!

miller

Amelie said...

Taste of Thai was kagetsu. Yup.

And did anyone mention Gaesorn? It's got the best name.

I like Amarin bestest. Comfort Thai.

There used to be an indonesian/s.e. asian place on J in a shoebox that had the best lemongrass tofu noodles. It has sadly departed. Anyone know where I can capture that flavor again? It was the best. Indochine was it's little name...

Anonymous said...

Bamboo sucked. Asian fusion at it's blandest. Alan Wilson worked there too and hooked us up once with a bunch of food. Even free Bamboo was disappointing.

I like the NYC Amarin, Johnny! But there's another place further down Manhattan Avenue that's better. It's on Manhattan about one block past Greenpoint.

BREW

Anonymous said...

All this talk about Thai (wait, did I just come up with a new chant?) got me craving the stuff. So working in West Sac (the best sac), I went to check out Vien Tien with co-workers. I have blessed this place for vegetarians. They had a seperate portion of the menu dedicated to the meatless dishes and did not try to sneak fish sauce into my vegetables with coconut milk in red curry! Delicious and cheap.

Talk about Thai! Talk about Thai! Talk about Thai!
Niki

beckler said...

Vientianne is a local treasure, no doubt. I have heard that when Daryl Corti hosted some fancy food people from Gourmet mag that this is where he took them. Being a veg, you can't try the chicken parts stuffed with pork and jelly noodles and you are missing out. But I'm glad they have good vegetarian stuff.

Anonymous said...

I think it was Saveur that Corti took to Vientianne. At least according to chowhound. Which I always mean to read but keep forgetting. Admittedly, this person who wrote this makes me not want to read it.

"As far as Vientianne in West Sacramento is concerned - I can't imagine why Saveur was taken there. It's just a hole in the wall which is none too well kept up. The food is okay but nothing special. It's more Thai than Vietnamese and I wasn't really impressed - maybe due to the fact that it was the dead of summer and the air conditioning was less than adequate."

miller