Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dinner @ Thai House 530

[ Originally posted January 5, 2012 ]
I finally checked out Thai House 530.  It just opened in November, and is brought to you by the son of the owners of Thai House Express, which I've always found decent.  One of their house specialties is a crab pad thai, and since I love crab, and it is crab season, it was time to make this happen!

The space is swanky and clean, the plating much nicer than most thai places, and it was very reasonably priced. The menu is extensive and there were a slew of things I wanted to try that we didn't get to. 

Overall, the meal and service were decent, but I'm in no rush to go back.  The ingredients seemed mid-range and the flavor complexity just wasn't there.  I've still yet to find thai food in San Francisco that I've really loved ... seeking recommendations!  I think Sydney may have ruined me for thai food ... no Thai food in SF has ever come close to Sailor's Thai Canteen or Longgrain!

One friend described the food as "osha-style thai food which means a lot of added sugar, not spicy enough and unfortunately not very fresh."  I pretty much agree.

[ Not pictured ]
"Fog City": a cocktail of soju, passion fruit nectar, lime juice, and greek yogurt.  $8.
 Sorta like an alcoholic lassi. I thought it was delicious!
Papaya salad with shrimp, green beans, peanuts, chili, tomatoes, dressing.  $9.
This dish was just ok. The shrimp were really disappointing - only a few, they were very small, and really had no flavor.  This was particularly sad compared to the photos on their Facebook page showing large succulent shrimp!  They could have been any generic protein in here. I appreciated that the salad wasn't drowning in dressing but it definitely could have used more flavor. I'd order it again and either get the chili sauces to add to it or get it spicer.  $9 was a fine price.
Pu jah: Thai style crab cake, dugeness crabmeat, grounded pork, eggs, black pepper, cilantro.  $9.
I love, love crab cakes, and it is crab season, so I was really excited about this.  Unfortunately, I really couldn't taste the crab in here and it was overpowered by the pork (and I really don't like pork).  None of us could identify what the fried crispy stuff on top was. I think "fried hair" was our best answer. Dipping sauce was sweet and not all that interesting.

Definitely would not get again.
Dungeness crab pad thai, bean sprouts, egg, green onion, lettuce, garnish.   $13.
Decent pad thai. Sauce was a little too sweet for my taste though. The crab was incredibly generous, both in size of nice chunks and quantity throughout.  Noodles were nicely cooked, although I prefer mine a little more stir fried.

$13 was a decent price, particularly given the amount of crab.
Chicken red curry rice plate: green beans, carrots, bamboo shoots, basil, bell peppers.  $10.
I'm always kinda meh on curries, so this didn't standout for me.
Mango with sticky rice, coconut milk, crispy soy thingies.  $7.
I think I got spoiled from mangos in Sydney a year ago. This mango was not very sweet nor ripe and was just sorta a mango flavored blob. The strawberry was likewise just a strawberry flavored blob, then again, it is January.  I guess I deserve this for ordering fruit that isn't local and in season, but I love mango and sticky rice so I couldn't resist.

The sticky rice itself was only lukewarm, I would have preferred warmer. I appreciated that it wasn't swimming in coconut milk, although that was the tastiest part of the dish for sure. The soy crispies added a nice crunch and were surprisingly flavorful.

$7 was a great price.
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