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Bangkok Taste - OC

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For her graduation dinner, my sister wanted to eat Thai at a place in Irvine that charged 14 bucks for a pad thai.
Now, I'm no Thai food expert, but I ain't shelling out 14 bucks for southeast asian dish, let alone NOODLES. So I looked up for Thai places on Monster Munching.
Originally I wanted to go to Thai Nakorn, but I didn't feel like driving, so I chose the other Thai place mentioned in the blog: Bangkok Taste.

Bangkok Taste is a tiny tiny place right off the 22 in Santa Ana, next to a Big Lots and a coin laundery. When we walked in, the place was full except for one table, and we were the only asians there. That freaked us out a bit because a Thai place where no Thai person eats can't be good.
However, moments after we were seated, an asian-looking family walked in and we heaved a sigh of relief.

For appetizers, we order the fried tofu ($5.95). It's like atsuage, but instead of ponzu and grated daikon, this is served with sweet chili sauce. The outside was crispy, the inside soft and piping hot, and gave away a faint sweetness of soy beans.

Then we had the tom yun goon soup (Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup). Very very sour, and too much cilantro for my taste, but noms-worthy regardless.

The beef pad see ew ($6.95) here is AWESOME. Faintly smoky, chewy noodles with bitter bok choy, beef n' eggs stir-fried with nummy sauce... mmmmmmmm.

Then we had some duck curry and shrimp pad thai. I've never had duck curry before, so I was really curious... I normally dislike duck because it tastes so weird and gamey, but when combined with fresh aromatic veggies, coconut milk, and some spices, duck was no longer an enemy. Soooo fresh, so good. It comes with a chili sign on the menu, but it's not very spicy.
The pad thai ($7.95) was pretty gnarly, but in a good way. My boy originally asked for it to be an 8 out of 10 spicy, but we reminded him that Korean spicy and Thai spicy were two completely different things and managed to bring it down to a 6 out of 10 spiciness (my boy is Korean-Japanese and I'm Viet-Japanese... our definitions for"spicy" differs greatly). Good thing we did that, cause this thing was on fire!!! Tasty regardless, but I think it could've had more sauce.

We consoled our tongues (which were badly shocked from the pad thai) with sweet coconut rice and mango. BEST DESSERT EVAR. It's so simple, but so decadent!

Everything is reasonaly priced, portions are hefty, and they have weird placemats with Engrish. My sisters' placemat explained how bananas are "born" on a bunch, and how 1 bunch has several "arms" and each "arm" has lots of "fingers". WTF? And how cool is that?

Verdict: Three out of four. I love this place!!!

for pictures, please read the article on my blog! http://inomthings.blogspot.com

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  1. What's the problem with paying $14 for a SE asian dish?

    Personally, I wasn't blown away by the sticky rice with mango. I felt that the mangoes needed to be riper.

    3 Replies
    1. re: hobbess

      Agreed. People shell out 14 and more for Italian pasta all the time without even a second thought. As far as I can tell it doesn't take more special techniques/skills in Italian cooking then asian cooking.

      1. re: hobbess

        I'm sorry if that offended you, but personally, I think southeast asian foods are generally cheap AND good, especially if it's a little family owned place like Bangkok Taste. Maybe because I'm of SE asian origin (Vietnamese)???
        Now if this was at a very nice place like House of Siam in SJ, I wouldn't have too much of problem.

        PS, the sticky rice I had was served with really ripe mangoes. Guess I was just lucky.

        1. re: nomnomnoms

          Not lucky I find the food at Bangkok taste to be consistently very good. Next time order the green mussel omelet; quite possibly one of my favorite dishes in Orange County.