It seems like I do a post on Koon Thai at just about one year intervals...so I guess it's that time again! Before things got really busy around these parts, I managed to grab lunch with two of my co-workers, Stephanie and Lily, who are wonderful eating companions. Both of them have been to Sab E Lee before, so I thought it would be nice to drop by Koon Thai.
There have been a few changes since the last time I visited. There's some new specials and sadly, some items, though still on the menu, like the Nham Khao Tod are no longer served. On this day the Kha Pao Moo Krob and the Pad Cha Pla Tod were a no go as well.
Still, we managed to order more than enough food. Here's a round-up.
We started with the Nam Tok - Beef ($9.95):
I could tell by the color and the fragrance, or lack thereof, that this wasn't going to be a great dish. The beef was fairly tender, but the flavors were really lacking....not enough lime juice, not enough heat (at a 7), not enough fish sauce, just not enough......
I was never a fan of the Pad See Ew here, but thought I'd give it another try. So we ordered the chicken version ($8.95):
The was mediocre at best...to mushy and watery, not the best display of wok skills for this simple dish that is deceptively hard to execute well. Not enough heat, needed a bit more of the caramelized soy sauce-sugar flavor. The chicken was prepped decently.
Things began looking up when the Ka Na Moo Krob (Crispy pork belly with Gailan - $9) arrived.
The pork had a nice chewwy-crunchy texture, the flavors (mild garlic-sugar-soy-fish sauce) were nicely balanced, and the gailan were cooked perfectly.
The Pla Sahm Rod ($12) was even better.
I may complain about the wok technique, but these folks sure know how to fry. Crisp, light, and moist, along with what many would think of as classic Thai flavors.
Of course I had to order the Khao Karr Moo ($7.99).
For some reason, this dish always takes us back to a Hospital Food Court of all places in Thailand. This simmered pork shank dish, obviously Chinese influenced, is just plain hearty comfort food. Lily told me this reminded her of something her dad would make.......
In the end, thought not everything went over well; there were more good than bad dishes, making Koon my second favorite Thai restaurant in the area.
Koon Thai Kitchen
3860 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111