After our brunch at Fathom Bistro, Candice asked me if I had enough left in the tank to try a Thai restaurant in the area called Supanee. Apparently, the restaurant has it's own "garden/farms" from which it gets many of the herbs/vegetables it serves and it also is supposed to make a killer Thai sausage. So even if I didn't have room, i would have made some!
The interior of the restaurant is a bit larger than it looks from the outside. It's simple, but clean....I did find that sound travels quite far.
The menu reflected what Candice told me about the place. It's using local products when it can and frankly, the prices kind of reflect this.
In addition to the regular menu, a sheet of specials was also presented. Loved the local caught fish and the grass fed beef options.
Of course we started things off with the House Made Thai Sausage ($9.50). This dish really delivered.
The sausage was obviusly deep fried. The cut of the meat in the sausage was perfect, not too coarse and not mushy. The flavors of kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass came through nicely, as did a touch of heat. It tasted fine when eaten by itself; but once combined with some thinly sliced thai chilies, ginger, and wrapped in a fresh and crisp lettuce leaf it became delicious. The slight sour of the sausage, cut by the heat of the chili and the ginger; though honesty, I think galangal would have added a nice woody-fruity spice, but also a more cooling component than the ginger. Nevertheless, this was quite good.
We also got the Larb Grass Fed Beef ($12) at heat level 10.
This was an interesting dish. First, I think we got "gringo'd" because this was maybe a 6 or 7 in terms of heat. It was also a bit off balance in terms of flavor being a bit too sweet. The beef as expected was nice and chewy. The rice powder seemed loss here because of the sweetness of the dish as well. I took the leftovers home and it tasted better a couple of hours later.
The final thing we ordered is what I usually order to check the chef's stir-fry skill, Pad Se Eew (with beef $11).
I'm sure that Supanee has to defer to an "Ameri-Thai" customer base and has made concessions. So I ignored the "Calabrese broccoli". The flavoring, usually a simple dark soy, soy sauce, and a sweet component was quite off. This was pretty bland. The noodles were on the mushy side and it lacked "wok hey", the wonderful flavor of the wok.
I brought the leftovers home. The Missus took one look at the Pad See Eew and refused to eat it. She liked the texture of the grass fed beef, even though the flavor was a bit off. She loved the Thai Sausage. So a week or so later we returned to Supanee for dinner.
And of course started things off with the Thai Sausage ($9.50).
This delivered as it did last time. I believe its our favorite version in San Diego.
We also ordered the Grass Fed Beef Larb again.
This was again ordered at heat level 10 and this time it tasted like a "10". The flavors were nicely balanced this time around as well. All the components, the fresh crisp lettuce, the toasted rice powder, the cilantro, played their role well. In spite of the heat, you could make out all the flavors. I think we'll dial it down a bit next time!
On the top of the specials menu is a White Seabass, a wonderful fish, sauteed in a Garlic Chili Sauce, which we ordered.
First the good. This was bursting with flavor, a complex herbaceous-sweet-salty-spicy. The Thai eggplant (grown in their garden) in the dish was sauteed to perfection....I would be happy with a plate full of that. The dish just sparkled in terms of flavors and colors. The one problem was that the White Seabass was just cooked to death....dry as shoe leather. A real bummer, because it has a nice flavor and texture when done correctly. At $20, that's kind of a serious misstep. Bummer, this could have been an excellent dish.
I think we'll be back for the sausage and larb, but am not sure about having anything else. That sausage, even at almost $10 is worth it to us.
Supanee House of Thai
2907 Shelter Island Drive
San Diego, CA 92106
Mon - Thurs 11-3pm, 5pm - 9pm
Friday 11-3pm, 5pm - 930pm