Basil Thai Bistro
Basil Thai Diner
By the East County Eater
Watching “Anna and the King of Siam” is the closest I’ve come to visiting Thailand. But if dining at Basil Thai Bistro is a reflection of what Thailand is like – I wanna go. From exquisite food to exotic décor, Basil Thai is a true dining out adventure.
The interior has whimsical Asian elements, from Thai temple statues to origami swan napkins. Everything is neat and tidy and very inviting. The lighting (so important) is perfect and the overall feeling is like being invited by Thai Royalty to dine then treated like the King himself.
The staff, dressed formally, is attentive but not intrusive, always discreet. The atmosphere is charming, a great place to go if you want cozy and quiet. Four stars on the scale of “Best Places to Take a Date.”
Then there is the food—exotic and delectable. If meals to you are more than filling-stations and you feel food should be an adventure, prepare for take-off.
The menu features a delicious array of Thai dishes, each artfully prepared. Thai food is spicy (you can ask them to tone-it-down a bit if you must) filled with contrasting and complementary flavors.
Imagine this: Grilled Alaskan halibut in sweet chili sauce with scallions and fresh mint in your salad. Red curry (king curry in my book) and cool cucumbers. Fresh basil and garlic, with fried tofu in peanut sauce. Green papaya salad with Panang curry chicken in coconut milk. Each combination delivers a new adventure for your taste-buds.
I couldn’t help think that the ample portions and taste delights would suit even the most finicky of royalty. I can see the King of Siam’s eyes faintly hiding his delight at the sight of our next dish - sizzling basil chicken, pineapple, cashews with coconut milk - served in a pineapple shell.
Afterward, sipping Thai Iced Tea I felt like I was coming back from an out-of-body experience. I was sniffling just a bit – must’ve been the chili. I won’t forget this meal for long time.
Owners of Basil Thai Bistro also operate La Basil Thai Cuisine in La Jolla and Basil Thai Diner near SDSU in the College area. All three restaurants focus on “your good health and tantalizing your taste buds,” according to their website (www.basilthaisd.com) which also states that the establishments use “only the finest ingredients from fresh herbs to jasmine rice” to bring you “exotic food for your pleasure.” I found nothing to dispute those contentions.
The East County Eater