Yes, yet another post on Sab E Lee, though I'll keep it mainly to photos. Sab E Lee has only been open maybe 15 months, but has become a regular stop for us. As the weather gets cooler, I notice that we've started to transition from the various Larb and Beef Salads to more hearty dishes, like the Chicken with Spicy Mint Leaves:
And other stuff......
Since we've been eating at Sab E Lee, I've never had to declare a "heat level". Kobe always knew how spicy we wanted our food to be. In the case where I was having lunch or dinner with friends, I'd always ask for things "less spicy", or in one rare case, "Lao Spicy"....... When having dinner with FOY JohnL, who told me that he could eat spicy, I ordered everything "less spicy" except for the Koi Soi, which I asked to be "the way I like it". Poor John could only eat one spoon of the Koi Soi..... Which got me wondering what level of heat was being ordered for the Missus and I. Also, since Kobe was soon to be manning Sab E Lee 2, I'll be having to tell the folks here how spicy I want my food. On one of our last visits, we asked Kobe what heat level he assigns to our dishes. The answer was surprising, most dishes are a 7, except for the Koi Soi, which is a 9!
And of course, the intimacy of Sab E Lee always means there's an interesting conversation floating through the air around you...... In this case, an over-dressed (for Sab E Lee) middle aged WASP couple, sampling some Pad Thai, Tom Yum, and Panang Curry (sigh.....Candice, Howie, and I have had conversations about this trinity). Female in a stage whisper; "this tastes really different...." Male: "yes, something's wrong, this doesn't taste anything like Taste of Thai and Thai House."
I really wanted to scream, "Amen brother, and I hope it never does......"
More info on Sab E Lee 2:
Since I was in the area this morning, I decided to drop by and check out the new second location of Sab E Lee, which I posted about here.
The first thing I noticed was the size of the parking lot........it looks like they won't be short of parking! So I snap my photo, and I hear a friendly little honk from a car to the rear of me..... and it's Kobe and his crew. I am so busted...... Kobe's all smiles, though he does look a bit tired. So I get a nice little tour of the restaurant, which is medium sized, but not large by any means. There's room for more tables and growth. Kobe told me that everything is on track, and they will opening for lunch at 11am tomorrow.
I also got a look at the menu, which is pretty hefty, with about three times the amount of dishes that Sab E Lee has. Luckily, many of our favorite dishes are on the menu (click to enlarge photos):
"Superwild Shrimp" sounds interesting, and there's Miang Kum and Kra Thong Tong.
To me, Sab E Lee is a wonderful success story. From a tiny hole-in-the-wall, to a second restaurant in fifteen months is quite an accomplishment. When we first moved to San Diego, the lack of the type Thai Food we enjoyed (non American-Thai) was a bit, well, depressing. We found a couple of places, that served a few dishes that we enjoyed. I distinctly remember a conversation with the owner of one of these restaurants. They had a few good dishes, and when I asked about some of our favorite Thai dishes using ingredients that I was used to eating in Thai Town I was told, "we could never have that on the menu. People in San Diego would never eat that, and it is economical suicide. There's no way a restaurant in San Diego could serve those dishes with Thai ingredients and survive." In a way, he is an excellent business man, as his restaurant empire has now expanded to several restaurants. But Kobe and crew has also proven him wrong.....you can get good un-Americanized Thai Food in San Diego. And I hope this is only the beginning.......
Some other info on Sab E Lee 2 - Grand opening date is Monday, November 2. Kobe also told me that during the first week, there will be a 15% discount on most dishes. So there you go.....
Sab E Lee 2
9159 Mission Gorge Road
Santee, CA 92071
Open Daily 1030 am - 930 pm