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Pho Tai Nam – Take 2

We were kickin it suburban style on new year’s day, but were desperately craving pho, so we trekked it on up to pho tai nam. But not before calling and making sure they were open. Maybe my memory had gone, but I remembered stuff always being open on new year’s, but for whatever reason this year, it seemed many businesses were closed, including tons of restaurants. Which did end up putting some cramps into our plans. I didn’t want any fresh spring rolls, but it worked out well because they have a lunch special, where you can include one spring roll to your pho.

J got the steak and brisket pho as part of his lunch special. Maybe I just didn’t remember from the first time I was here, but man, their pho is great. The broth is just excellent, not salty, and full of flavor. Really, their pho is tops! And both the steak and brisket, especially the brisket, were free of fat.

This is a thai and vietnamese place, so instead of us both getting pho, I got drunken noodles with chicken. Drunken noodles is my go-to dish when I eat thai food. I love the thick rice noodles and the spice. This dish was great here, and since we shared, we both got to eat pho and drunken noodles. We were both totally enamored by this place and agreed that this was one of the best meals we’ve had together in awhile. Pho tai nam – the best of both worlds! For those of you in montgo, get your pho here!

Burmese In Burlingame

I met up with A in Burlingame after cruising around Monterey and the south bay. Burlingame is another cute little ritzy town with a strip of shops and restaurants. We decided on Mingalaba, which is burmese. I’ve only had burmese, years ago, and don’t remember too much from it. I think I remember that it was like thai food. The menu is a strange amalgam of indian, thai, and other asian cuisines. Which makes a helluva lot of sense when you look at a map of burma. It’s a rather large country, with india and the bay of bengal on its left, and thailand and china on its right. We ordered mango lassis, and we all know that’s traditionally indian/pakistani.We didn’t really know what to order, so we picked the House Special Noodle with chicken. It was a flat rice noodle dish with coconut chicken, lime leaves, cilantro, yellow pea’s powder, onion, and fried thin noodle on the top. It comes unmixed and then the server mixes it in front of you.
And here’s the result. We both enjoyed this a lot. I’m usually not into anything with coconut milk in it (like this chicken), but I still liked this. The one thing I absolutely did not care for was the lime leaves. I found them to be absolutely disgusting. They were sliced extremely thin but still gave off an extremely strong taste. Luckily, after realizing their awfulness, I was careful to avoid them.
We had to order something else so we just threw the dice and went with the Asparagus Spicy Chicken. This was pan fried chicken breast with asparagus, fresh basil, eggplant, fresh mushroom, and green chilies in a spicy sauce. This had a straight up thai basil flavor, reminiscent of many thai dishes. So if you’re into that, you’ll be into this. This also was not spicy at all, so don’t let the name fool you. It’s just a nice chicken stir fry dish. The asparagus were of the extremely fat variety, and I’m partial to the scrawny spears.

Service was fine, if not seemingly cold and robotic. But I think that was just the server’s personality, or lack thereof. One could not describe her as warm and fuzzy, but the service itself was fine. And the meal actually turned out to be quite a bargain! On this tuesday night, the place was packed! If you’re a fan of thai food, then you should definitely give Mingalaba a try. Heck, I can’t stop saying mingalaba!
Mingalaba on Urbanspoon

Thai Noodles In Dublin

I was staying in a fairly central part of Dublin centre, but I decided to roam around a bit to explore my surroundings. I ended up walking into a fairly residential and cute part of town, Ranelagh Village. It had a little strip of shops and restaurants and in general, life! I had read about Diep Le Shaker and saw that it had sister restaurants Diep Noodle Bar and Diep At Home so I decided to stop into the noodle version after all that walking. It’s a thai place. They bill themselves as Thai and Vietnamese, but I’m sorry, there’s nothing Vietnamese about this place. It’s straight up thai.
I started with some spring rolls. These were nice and hot, but they were pretty boring. The dipping sauce was straight out of a bottle, and you didn’t quite get enough of it. And for how little the rolls were, even though you got so many, these are expensive. But that’s Dublin for ya, and that’s the Euro.
For my entree I got the bangkok noodles, which was basically thai basil chicken with rice noodles. There was nothing extraordinary about this dish, but it was perfectly fine. It was certainly on par with other ok thai food I’ve had in the past. I haven’t actually eaten that much thai food in my life, so I can’t call myself any kind of connoisseur, but this was just ok. All the ingredients were fresh though, which is really fine by me. Again, this was expensive, if you think about it in dollars. You certainly couldn’t charge $22 for something like this back home.
The service was good and the place itself is very nice. Attractively decorated, just the right amount of mood, and they play amazing music. Again, no problem with the credit card here as well.

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