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Review Bangkok Villa - Santa Rosa (1169 Yulupa Ave)

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Bangkok Villa was our second Thai place since moving up to Sonoma County and it was fairly good... definitely better than the place on Mendocino Blvd (in front of a Motel owned by the same people).

First, if this 2nd visit tends to confirm the pattern that Thai places up here might represent a different region of Thailand that we had experienced in L.A.

> Many Different Dishes
> Different Names for the Same Dishes
> The word structure for the names also seems very different... almost Vietnamese seeming (to my uninformed brain)
> 2nd Thai place in a row that has no Brown Rice... what up with that?

Even with the regional differences...there seemed to be quite a bit of Wine Country influences.

> We started off with a Cucumber Salad that had a very California / Meditteranean feel to it... kind of like a creamy vinaigrette... rather than the usual Lime Juice / Chile style. Pretty good on its own... but not so interesting within the realm of a trip to a Thai restaurant.

> From the Chef suggestions... an artfully carved Cucumber boat with Crabmeat at the base, and then a medium sized poached Shrimp in a Wasabi-Guacamole type sauce. The shrimp was fairly fishy & it was kind of hard to eat (too big for 1 bite... hard to cut without destroying it) but otherwise pleasant.

> A Prik Khing like dish without the green beans. Tender strips of Skirt Steak sauteed then added to sauteed vegetables with a thin, spicy red curry & plenty of Thai basil. Very good...but might be too skimpy on the beef.

> "Sweated" vegetables with a rich Peanut Sauce. Very good... but didn't seem very authentic. Could be a nice side dish...if you don't want to eat Noodles or Rice (because of Carbs etc.,)

> Pad Thai... same old, same old.. but not interesting at all. Kind of bland. Could have definitely used more Tamarind Paste, Ground Peanuts & Chile.

> Jasmine Rice. Played its role.

> Mango & Sticky Rice. The sticky rice was better than average (although it could have used a lot more sesame seeds)...the mango a bit pale looking but decent enough.

$70 for Four (Tax & Tip included)

Overall a pretty good place. This will be the go to Thai place here..until I find a better one... or can bring myself to cook Thai food authentically (I was end up reducing the Oil & Sugar...and screw up the dishes).

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  1. Is brown rice a normal dish at L.A. Thai restaurants? I don't know that I've ever seen it in one here.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Every single Thai place in L.A. serves Brown Rice as the default Rice... people who order white sometimes get disapproving looks.

      I vastly prefer Brown Rice.

      1. re: Eat_Nopal

        Really? Even the restaurants Thai people frequent?

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          It seems that the only Thai people in West L.A. or those that work / own the restaurants... as such you never see any Thai people eating at them.

          I guess it must just be one of those West L.A. / Whole Foods Buffs fads and not really the traditional Thai thing I thought it was.

          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            I was eating Thai/Issan food in OC three years ago and never saw brown rice offered.

    2. Hmm, you didn't like Jhanthong Banbua?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Just like you noted... the soups were weak... a big pitfall for me... rarely do we not got a soup at Thai. The Thai BBQ Chicken was quite good, no Brown Rice (which ticked me off)... I don't remember the other dish (and it was only 1 week ago).

        There was also a bad energy about the place that sort of sealed its fate.

        Should I give it another try... do you have some insights on what I should try?

        1. re: Eat_Nopal

          Per my linked post.

          For soups, try Thai House downtown. It's been about 5 years since I've had thai food in LA, but I don't recall brown rice. Maybe this is a new fad.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Brown rice is an option at Phuket Thai on Divis at Haight. It's the best neighborhood Thai for us, but not really worth a trip otherwise.

            I can't remember seeing brown rice anywhere else in San Francisco or Thailand, though I've never been to the south of Thailand.

            1. re: SteveG

              Recently I encountered Brown Rice imported from Thailand aimed for Thai consumers (barely any English writing) at G&G Market (they specialize in Asian products)... so it has to be consumed by Thais somewhere.... maybe its a lower class food?