Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thai Food

Thai food is actually quite popular in the bay area, but only three Thai restaurants exist in Alameda. Pad thai and curries with coconut milk is what Americans usually know about thai food. Curry comes in different colors of green, yellow and red and varies in degrees of heat.

I recently went to the Thai Place on Webster Street. This restaurant has a new owner and management and not to be confused with the previous owner and chef that held the same name. The shrimp and tofu pad thai was decent and lite of flavor. I only wished for more tofu in the dish as well as a stronger taste in the sauce. The dish also needed more fresh lime wedges to give it a tartness on your taste buds. The other dish I tasted was the green curry with bamboo shoots, chicken and red bell peppers. Green curry was the mild curry which was cooled with the coconut milk. The vegetables were fresh with the exception of the bamboo shoots, I think the shoots came out of a can. The dish was palatable and was better than the pad thai. I would come back to this restaurant and order other food than the pad thai.

My favorite Thai restaurant on the island is Amarin Thai Cuisine on Park Street. The menu has more variety as well as better quality food. The flavor profiles are not watered down compared to their competitors and it also has a more authentic flare to it. Their curries are very good with varied heat, spice levels to choose from. The vegetables selections in their curry dishes make sense and compliment the seafood or meats. Their pad thai was great with lots of peanuts on top. There is not a bad dish at this restaurant. I believe the chef has put a lot of thought into the menu with the ingredients and flavor combinations.

Toomie's Thai Restaurant is a popular spot. I was surprised to see the number of customers one day when I had lunch there. Their pad thai was very good and full of flavors. Their varieties of curries were amazing with different heat, spice levels. Red is the hottest, green was second and yellow was the most mild. I had a green curry dish. The meat in the curry dish was over cooked and the chicken was tough and chewy. The sauce had coconut milk which lightened some of the heat of the dish, but the bamboo shoots were limp and did not add any value to the flavors. Their hot and sour soup had a wonderful broth of lemongrass. The soup was not too spicy with fresh vegetables, and the seafood was perfectly cooked. I would come back for the soup.

The new spot on Park Street is King of Thai Noodle. The place was a former Mexican Taqueria and the interiors have not changed much since it was a German bakery even before the burrito joint. The menu was long and extensive with noodles, curries, rolls and stir fry dishes. I tasted the spring rolls which were deep fried with vegetables inside. The sauce was tangy and fruity with an apricot color to it. The sauce was slightly sweet and complimented the roll. I then ordered a green curry with chicken and vegetables. Green is the hottest curry of the restaurant. (Yellow is the mildest and red is medium heat.) The curry was amazing and not mouth scorching because the coconut milk canceled the heat of the dish. The dish was aromatic and full of flavor. The other entree was a pork and eggplant stir fry dish with thai chillies and basil. The sauce was smokey in flavor and all of the components of the ingredients came out. The dish was great. The Thai beer, Singha is a light lager beer. I highly recommend this restaurant. Another positive of this place is that it stays open until one AM in the morning. Look out La Pinata since this place serves great food and is a competitor with you for the late night crowd.

No comments: