Maybe it was the location, maybe it was the road construction nearby the place... (but then of course, isn't there construction going on all over this city right now?) Maybe it was the fact that we missed our planned turn and had to back track just a little, or maybe it was just the appearance of the place...but upon arrival I felt like we were pulling up to a truck stop, not an Asian Restaurant, but the sign outside said Asian Restaurant, so I knew we were at the right place.
It was nice and cool inside on that hot summer day and we were welcomed and seated promptly, but two people in fact, to two different tables, but we went with the first offer by the first person to greet us. The inside was simple and pleasant. Portraits of the king and Queen of Thailand were on one wall and stained glass works of art were hung about the place. We later learned that these stain glass pictures were specially made for the owner, some even portraits of himself, cooking and as a monk in his earlier days.
I have to say that it was a great dining experience. We didn't even mind that our plans for eating our favorite "coconut milk soup" were thwarted because Geo tried to order it using foreign words instead of English, and we were brought something completely different. Apparently, in Thai language, one little syllable can mean a lot of difference. (Is Taiwanese is what you call the language?<-- I have since learned it is not... it is simply Thai.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Chicken Curry as well as our appetizer of miniature spring rolls, which the owner, Sam, was honored to inform us were made by his lovely wife. We also ordered some of the Thai teas. We ordered one regular and one "green Tea" that his wife had just brought back from her recent stay in Thailand.
Between the two flavors we liked the green tea the best. Geo said it reminded him of some Moroccan tea we had tried at another restaurant. I see the similarities, but it was different, and it was very green looking too. It had the kind of flavor that makes you happy when you drink it. Geo said, it made him laugh. It was kinda fun to take sips of the two teas and laugh together.
Sam, the owner of the restaurant was very busy that night, along with his wife because the regular waitress did not show up. Sam was seating people as well as cooking and in between he's talk to everyone.
He was a lot of fun to talk to too. I wondered if he enjoyed talking to people, as he visited and talked with us several times even though his wife was helping to serve food from the kitchen. We learned much about his life and a little about the King of Thailand too, whose photo is displayed in the dining area. Sam told us that the King of Thailand is an American citizen from Boston.
Sam is a great cook and a good talker. I left this place feeling like I had just been personally treated to a very special dinner at the home of a friend or something. Seriously. If I were a golfer, I would look forward to meeting Same on the golf course or something, but I am not a golfer. Instead I will look for him and his family at the beach the next time we go to a kite festival. However, I will probably see him before that, at his Asian Restaurant.
We liked it so much we visited again in March 2010. This time we took photos.
Here isa part of the menu:
(Double click on the menu for a larger view)
Our Special Ordered Soup:
This is Thai Ladd Na, (right) and Garlic Pork with Pea Pods, (left.) The little dish is a sauce for the Ladd Na.
The rice is warm and the ice cream is cold and the two things together are great.