Thai Delight? Organic Thai restaurant
- Margot Feb 28, 2003 01:35 PM
Looking for feedback on this Berkeley restaurant on Shattuck, cross street is Francisco I believe. It's the only East Bay Thai restaurant that advertises it's "organic" as far as I know. Or if anyone knows of any other "organic" Asian/ethnic restaurants, I'd like to know. I'm using organic in the sense that most of the meat and produce is organically raised, and/or that there are no or very minimal amounts of chemical additives (ie no MSG, sulfites, etc.) -- I think O Chame and Kyo Ya fall in this category.
Eating Chinese food for me is now like walking in a mine field, not knowing when something disastrous will happen.
It might be of interest to you that most of the better Chinese restaurants in SF tend to get their chickens from from Petaluma Poultry, producers of "Rocky" and other "sustainable" poultry. Not because they want to sell the "organic" tag, but because of the character and flavor of the birds. Petaluma Poultry, in fact, got its start producing chickens exclusively for SF Chinatown customers.
re: Gary Soup
That's good to know, but the main problem with Chinese restaurants for me is all the various additives. In addition to MSG, a lot of vegetables, etc. that were previously just sun-dried now apparently have sulfites which may or may not be stated on the original packaging. For those sensitive, sulfites can be deadly. It's also in most brands of coconut milk, except for 1 or 2. And yes, I've read the discussions of MSG in this Board.....
Well, I won't go into the MSG issue (I consider it a red herring). But as far as I know, all of the Chinese restaurants I go to use fresh vegetables, except for occasional specialty dishes which use pickled vegetables (which, I'd agree, are something to worry about, if you are so inclined).
I've been to Thai Delight once, about a year ago. Though it was very good, but for some reason didn't go back. I guess it didn't seem to me to offer anything ultra-special in the realm of Thai food. But the organicness is certainly a draw for a lot of people.
I do know they had my absolute favorite Thai appetizer there - Miang Kum (not sure if I'm spelling that right). It's a bunch of little things (coconut, lime, peanuts, sweet sauce, dried shrimp, onion, ginger) you assemble yourself in a spinach leaf. Mmmm... Now you've got me thinking about going to Thai Delight again.
I went there a few weeks ago. I didn't eat off the organic menu (items from it are at least $1, closer to $2 more).
I was very unimpressed by their food. We had pineapple fried rice with chicken and it seemed like they threw everything from the kitchen in there - whether or not it went with the fried rice (cashews, pineapple, egg, and raisins are fine but there were about 4 more things). And we had a noodle dish with chicken that underwhelmed us. Maybe their sauteed dishes are better.
My friend who wanted to go there digs their tofu broccoli though.
re: Kathleen Mikulis
Thanks for your feedback too! With 2 quite different opinions, I'm undecided. Thai food is getting pretty tricky -- guess that's what happens when it becomes too popular. Ruen Pair is quite good, Plearn OK most of the time, and every other place is hit-or-miss or way too sweet or somewhat yuck. Used to really like that Thai BBQ place on Shattuck (I think they still have a few locations in SF). The place there now is horrible (Thai e Sun?)
It's pretty good. In a very crowded market for thai (there are about 10 Thai places in the downtown Berkeley Area), it has a niche of serving items with quality ingredients at a very reasonable price. Very good option for takeout, the atmosphere being a lot better at nearby ChaAm, or at a place like the one on Milvia near KPFA.
I recommend the pumpkin chicken curry, a red curry item that's not on the menu.
Although they do have an organic menu, this place was a huge disappointment. We went anticipating average thai food, just walked by and thought we'd stop in. We tried the Organic Curry Puffs, the Tom Kar Gai and the Red Curry Tofu w/ Vegetables and a glass of the Ventana Reisling. The Riesling was fine.
Otherwise, service was surly, and the food was heavy and indelicate - in the case of the soup and the curry, a massive amount of coconut creme seemed to be their answer to the flavor problem. IE: what flavor should this be? Hey maybe coconut creme counts as a flavor. Someone needs to tell them that that's only true in the case of the Piña Colada.
And though I was excited to see an Organic menu, the "organic dishes" were virtually bereft of content beside the heavy coconut sauce. My husband kept picking through that $12 curry looking for more than just a tiny floret of cauliflower to accompany all that carrot and lettuce... since when did big hunks of lettuce drifting in a curry count as a vegetable? They didn't even stoop to cutting the zucchini into manageable bites.
The service was plodding, surly and accompanied by eye contact avoidance when we were hoping to place an order (about 15 minutes after we arrived). And it was not crowded when we arrived.
Anyways, I don't recommend it, but apparently everyone else does...
So, though there's a line, I do like the Chay-A Japanese place down the street and next time I'm in the gourmet Ghetto, you'll see me happily waiting on that line knowing that I'll be eating better than ever possible at Thai Delight.
This is my favorite Thai food in the East Bay. As for the service, in my experience there is one server there who is super surly but the rest are so very nice. Getting the surly server is like getting the short straw, I've come to accept it from time to time.
The panang curry is the best. Especially if you take it to go and tart it up with a little more fish sauce. Fresh rolls are great too, with lots of herbs and the skin never seems to be too gooey lik ei t can be at other places. They have a great eggplant dish and the best larb I've ever had. They make a larb with duck that's delicious but I prefer good old fashioned chicken or pork.
Their peanut sauce is not good (too sweet and thick). Their pad thai is no more disappointing than any pad thai I've had in the east bay. Where does one get REALLY GOOD pad thai?