The Thai Boom Mystery
Armed with many positive reviews from fellow Chowhounders, I had my first Thai Boom meal about 2 months ago. I've gone back 6 times since then; partly out of curiousity, partly out of a need to establish a regular thai takeout source with reasonable pricings and mostly because I'm a masochist.
Thanks to several takeouts with a number of friends (some of whom have since groan when I utter the words "thai boom"), I've sampled almost all of their chef and lunch specials, larb, green mango salad, crab in a pot, papaya salad, pad thai, pad see ew, whole pompano, curries, fried banana, sausage, satays, different fried rice and various veggie dishes.
Am I getting the wrong stuff?? Any can't-miss dish I haven't sampled? Are there 2 chefs and I'm always getting the mediocre one? They're not terrible, decent even, but I really can't say they merit the accolades given here. The staff is always consistently efficient. Portions aren't exactly large like some people have expressed, they're not stingy but definitely not overly generous. So who's pulling my legs?
Granted, it's not like I can say there's another westside thai that's clearly superior, it's just that I expected better.
There have been reports of a drop off in quality shortly after the increase in price. Don't know if the two events are related.
I've been there twice and for the life of me can't understand why it's so hyped on here. It's fine, but also tastes like every other neighborhood Thai place I've ever been to.
As Sauce mentions, prices have gone up and quality seems to have gone south. Our first trip there was back in January/February which was quite good. Our second time was about a month ago. Maybe it was an off night or... we didn't think much about it...
I think as mentioned numerous times regarding alot of other Chow recs, hype kills your expectations... Don't beat a dead horse and expect it to get up and gallop - move on and seek more fertile ground! But I do admire your perserverance - not many would give a place so many chances...
Yes, I felt a little silly going back there time and again. For the moment, unless I'm going alone, I don't think I can further persuade friends to join me.
As for the hype, I did try to be fair and honestly, it's really just decent - there must've been a change in management and/or chef.
I'm somewhat relieved that I've made peace with it :)
I've noticed a little more variance in quality (from ok to great) the past 3 months than usual, but still "good enough" at worst. I'll post when I try it again-- I wonder if they got a new chef, or they have been more rushed when the business picked up more? Curious to see. Maybe some dishes were always better.
For me, your last sentence rings most true. It's basically the best there is close by, with nice and efficient staff and delivery, and good value. To me, those all add up to a winner. It see this as my neighborhood Thai, not exactly a destination if you're not in the neighborhood. And I can't think of any westside spots that are better.
I do also like the cashew nut chicken with green chiles added, either when its made or with the chiles in vinegar afterward. FWIW.