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Tag: Thai (page 2 of 2)

Remembering Asheville

I am sure I raved more than enough about the lovely Sunday morning we spent in downtown Asheville. I missed writing about the Thai restaurant where we lunched. It was a casual place and there weren’t many people that day. We lounged around, ate and drank in leisure, chatted endlessly before finally stepping out in the sun.

The tea was infused with fresh ginger shreds and lime juice. I added a generous measure of honey to sweeten it… very nice indeed. Very very nice.

Miso soup with tofu, Spring rolls, Pad Thai, California sushi rolls, ginger tea… Oh delicious.

Back to L’Thai sans Scoutmob

P’s cousin is visiting us from London, and she was in the mood for Thai food. Despite the not-so-great dining experience at L’Thai Organic Cuisine and Wine Bar (I think it detracted from the food; as I read the last post, I see that I have written very little about the actual food – Sorry.), we decided to go again.

It was a Saturday evening and the crowd was sparse. There was no keyboard player this time but a guitarist graced the same chair. I suppose he needed frequent cues through the evening, at least when it came to playing ‘Happy Birthday’ for the various diners that evening who were celebrating their birthdays with friends. I noticed the servers gesturing to him (in an almost-frantic manner!) to play along as various tables started singing the birthday song.

To start off with, we ordered a plate of Por-Pia-Tod or L’Thai Spring Rolls. They come, three in a plate, each roll resting in a cute shot glass filled with the sweet-spicy dipping sauce. Smart presentation, I thought. The rolls were nicely done too, with no additional grease dripping, and a good crunch to them. The filling is made of finely shredded vegetables and bean threads, all organic. S ordered a plate of Pak Tod (Vegetable Tempura) that came with its own sweet citrus dipping sauce. I picked a mushroom from that plate that released a LOT of water. Thank goodness that it wasn’t oil! As good a plate of Vegetable Tempura as any, I would think.

We got two orders of Tom-Kha (Galangal Coconut Soup) with tofu. Delicious! I love the texture of this soup preparation, light yet creamy. Coconut and lemon grass is a great combination that results in a refreshing play of flavors, one rich and another tangy. The downside of the wide bowls was that the soup ran cold pretty soon. Or maybe it had to do with the fact that we lavished much time and attention on the pretty appetizers and dipping sauces!

P ordered a plate of Pad-Kee Mow (Drunken Noodles) and Jungle Curry (cannot locate the actual dish on the menu) for the two of us. S ordered a curry with shrimp in it. I am guessing it was Priaw-Wharn Goong (Sweet and Sour Shrimp). She said that it was nice but fairly spicy. I think she asked for a spicy preparation but didn’t think that it would be this hot! The Jungle Curry was spectacularly spicy. Make that spicy and spectacular. The dish featured green peppercorns that added a special degree of heat to the dish. I found myself entranced by them, and served myself a generous portion of the curry. Yum, as spicy as it was, it was delicious. The Drunken Noodles were good too. Juicy and crisp, sweet and sour, a great one-pot dish of noodles is this one. I wish the portion size was larger, though. An old complaint, right? But come on, guys… this is dinner when the prices are higher and the portions tend to be larger – no?

Dessert was a plate of fried bananas with three scoops of ice cream – Mango, Coconut, Strawberry. The ice cream was great, the bananas not at all. Unripe bananas that lacked sweetness of any kind could not be salvaged by the ice cream, as tasty as the flavors were. A dish to be avoided, for sure. But at least, I gave it a shot!

L’Thai Organic Cuisine and Wine Bar

One of the Scoutmob coupons that came this week offered a 50% discount at L’Thai Organic Cuisine and Wine Bar in Smyrna. The last time I visited L’Thai was in 2009 when Mom and Dad were visiting us. I have faint memories of the place but I remembered that the food was excellent and well-presented, and they had lots of options for vegetarians. So off we went, P and S and P and I.

Unfortunately, many others had the same idea, and so when we got to L’Thai around 8:50 pm on a dull Friday evening, there was a wait time of at least 40 minutes, as the hostess told us. As per S, she might as well have said, “You guys better find some other place tonight!” We debated on it and decided to wait.

A little later, the hostess called to us, “10 minutes more!” before whizzing away. I loved what she was wearing (red sarong, flowered top, sandals) but she looked oh-so harried. Soon after, we were shown to our table. A keyboard player played his solitary melody, as the water fountain gurgled on behind his seat, illuminated by a giant red disco-globe.

So much for describing the space! The menu at L’Thai is long and elaborate with a separate section for vegetarians. Proudly inscribed at the top of every page is ‘Our ingredients are 95% organic,” or something along those lines. S wondered if we should order a plate of Por-Pia-Pak-Sod or Fresh Organic Basil Rolls. But it was past 9 pm already (way past anyone’s dinner time, really!) and so we decided to give the appetizers a skip. We ordered a plate of Basil Fried Rice (minus egg) and Mat-Sa-Man Curry (also known as ‘yellow curry?’). We also ordered another dish whose name I cannot recall (or find in the online menu) but it mentioned ‘Thai Chilli’ in the description. Then we waited.

We waited.

It seemed like ages before the food began to arrive. It was a busy night, and our server told us that he wasn’t even supposed to be working that evening. The food was fairly tasty. I have a grouse with most (if not, all) Thai restaurants about the lack of vegetables in their dishes. Sure you’ll have carrots, daikon radish, cashews, potatoes, snow peas, broccoli, peppers, some baby corn (maybe), mushrooms… spread across all dishes. So if you order 3-4 vegetarian dishes, you would have probably sampled every vegetable from the pantry.

I remember a trip we made to Washington DC a couple of years back. For dinner, a few of us stopped by at a small Thai restaurant. There were very few customers that night and only a couple of servers. But the food was absolutely fabulous. What I remember the most is the abundance of vegetables in the curries. Not your usual carrot-snow peas-daikon-tofu combination but so many other vegetables too! I wish I could remember the name of this place… 🙁

Back to L’Thai… the flavors were great even if they seemed to repeat from one dish to another. But the portions were too small. For dinner, the serving size was meager! We realized that we would need to order another dish. We asked for a plate of Pad-See-Ew (flat noodles, carrots and broccoli in a soy sauce) but I think what we got was a plate of Drunken Noodles. It contained basil, peppers and mushrooms (not part of the original dish). When we asked our server about the tiny portions, he remarked that we should have ordered two plates each!

Cheeky waiters and flavorful food aside, this experience has put me off the Scoutmob coupon frenzy.

Terrible service and measly portions for overpriced dishes – Why would I want this experience again? Besides, all the Scoutmob coupons cleverly disguise the fact that there is a cap of $15 on the discount amount. Rather, you need to read closely to know that there is a cap of $15 on the discount amount. At most of these places, it is infinitely simple to get a bill topping $40. You do the math.

L’Thai Organic Cuisine and Wine Bar
4500 West Village Place, Suite 1017
Smyrna, GA 30080
770-434-4344
www.lethai.org

Thai House, Roswell

Thai House (Roswell, GA) is a place I have visited multiple times before. I enjoy the food there. They have a separate menu section for vegetarians, the decor is nice, and they have some interesting menu items.

This time’s visit was a little different, though. The servers were terribly rushed. I think there were just two of them serving a bunch of tables. The food was fairly okay this time but I thought I’d write about the place anyway since I have visited so many times and liked the food every time.

So what did we order? We began with a soup, the Vegan Coconut Tofu Soup, to be precise.

It was wonderful! A great combination of light coconut milk, lime juice and lemon grass, it came with tofu, baby corn, water chestnuts and carrots. I love the hot pot presentation too. A great refreshing start to the meal, as cliched as it sounds!

For the entree, we ordered Basil Sue-Yi and Vegetable Fried Rice. I didn’t explain about the Sue-Yi, did I? Ok, Thai House offers a couple of variations of Tofu namely Sue-Yi and Sue-Gai. As per the menu online, Sue-Yi is essentially made from seaweed, ginger, salt, soy bean, soybean fiber & vegetable oil. Similarly, Sue-Gai is made from soy bean, vegetable fiber, flour, soy sauce & vegetable oil. I have ordered both of them in multiple dishes and enjoyed the tastes thoroughly.

Very tasty indeed. The flavors were bright without being too strong, and the vegetables retained their crunch. Thankfully, there was none of that overwhelming taste-scent of garlic drowning all other flavors.

The Vegetable Fried Rice was a disappointment. Ok, let me rephrase. What they got for us afterward was disappointing. When they first brought it, we noticed flecks of fried egg scattered all over. So we sent it back. The version they sent us the second time tasted dull. Hardly any flavors in there; some crisp broccoli florets and some tofu, possibly? I wouldn’t recommend ordering this one.

Did we have dessert? If you know me, you’d know that I always give dessert a chance. So we went ahead and got Bananas in Coconut Milk. Maybe that isn’t the exact name of the dish.

Our server explained that these banana fritters were deep fried in a rice batter containing coconut milk, then drizzled with sugar and honey. I LOVED them. I must mention, this is a HUGE dessert. As much as I would have loved polishing the plate clean, I had to regretfully admit that I couldn’t. This dessert can be shared by 3-4 people. Can I say it again how much I liked this one? There was something almost Indian-tasting about this one. Probably the taste of rice and coconut milk.

Not a very satisfying visit but I’ll go another time, for sure.

Thai House
1227 Alpharetta Street
Roswell, GA 30075
770-993-1688
www.thaihouseroswell.com