By the (North) East County Eater
July 28, 2010 (Poway)--Did you ever wonder where to eat in Poway that doesn’t serve a happy meal? I have a few good ideas for dinner and dessert, all date-suitable. Today: Thai seafood and gourmet ice cream.
Dinner: - Takhrai Thai is one of my favorite restaurants in the whole county. Hiding in the back of Scripps Trident Plaza at the intersection of Scripps Poway Parkway and Community Road, this little gem serves complex, flavorful Thai cuisine in a cozy setting. The emphasis is on seafood, though for my appetizer, I usually go veggie with the fresh spring rolls. They can bury me in the peanut dipping sauce. It’s sweet and subtle and my favorite among local Thai restaurants. I also recommend the tom yum (Thai hot and sour) soup. Takhrai Thai has excellent entrée-sized salads, too. The menu lists nine of them. I suggest any that has the house specialty “spicy lime dressing,” especially the yum ta-lay mixed seafood salad.
My favorite entree on the large menu is the salmon Choo-Chi. It’s a broiled fillet with a deep, rich, spicy Thai barbecue sauce. The choo-chi sauce is so good that Mrs. (North) East County Eater and I take the leftover home, freeze it, and then serve it over chicken or fish weeks later. The result is a restaurant-quality meal from our home freezer! Takhrai Thai also has the usual assortment of curries, rice dishes, and Thai barbecue. All that I have had are quite good and not too spicy. Try the mango chicken or pad ped talay mixed seafood.
I should mention, however, that some of Takhrai Thai’s sauces are very sweet, which can detract from their subtlety. My Thai iced tea (which is supposed to be sweet) was even more insulin-depleting than other versions I’ve had. Also, Takrhai Thai’s kind of quality costs a bit more than other suburban ethnic holes-in-the-wall. My salmon choo-chi (they have duck choo-chi, too) was $15.95, and the nightly seafood specials hover around $17-$18, which is a little pricey in our region if you’re not overlooking an ocean. To save money, stick to a curry or rice dish ($10-$13).
Takhrai Thai is in its fourth year in Poway. The owner, Nikki Bupha, also owns LaiThai restaurant in National City.
Dessert: When you’re done with dinner, I recommend heading two doors down to Lappert’s Ice Cream. A California-based chain with only one San Diego area location, Lappert’s offers “super premium” ice cream, the highest-fat ice cream available. I like it because it’s not too sugary, like a lot of ice cream aimed at kids. Also, the lack of sweetness lets the natural flavors come out. The fruit-based flavors taste like, well, fruit! Try a sample spoonful of blueberry cheesecake or guava sorbet, or, my favorite so far, banana caramel chocolate chip. Lappert’s also sells specialty coffees by the cup or, on their website, by the pound.
Enjoy your date(s)!
Takrhai Thai Restaurant
12265 Scripps Poway Parkway, #116
San Diego, CA 92064
Lappert's Ice Cream
12265 Scripps Poway Parkway, two doors down
San Diego, CA 92064