I just went tonight, and will add my kudos as well.
The ambiance was nice and unpretentious, and you can't beat free parking on a Saturday night. The service was a bit too slow for a place without a strong alcohol offering.
The coconut soup was sumptuous, savory and humble enough to get away with being a bit one-note. No complaints about the crab rangoon either, though that's a tough dish to screw up. I had the Mahi Mahi, which was excellent. I ordered it extra hot, and the kitchen didn't let me down. The lima beans and peas were an inspired pairing with a buttery green curry, and I highly recommend the risotto side.
My wife had the Pad Thai, which was far too sweet for my tastes, though the noodles were neither sticky nor oily. She gave it a nominal thumbs up. Our friends ordered the Pad Thai and the brandy chicken, the latter of which got rave reviews. The dessert menu is temptingly affordable, and the Tiramisu was competently delivered.
A great value, and arguably the best restaurant in the Happenings book. I'd return for the Mahi Mahi alone.
Thanks for the suggestions! It was my husband's first time there, and usually he's not the greatest dining companion, because if he doesn't have a steller experience, he doesn't usually want to go back to try again. We've only hit a handful of winners that we both agree on since we met. Cafe Bonxai was a winner! (and we got out of there for under thirty dollars plus tip because of our happenings coupon!) I had the coconut-basil soup, which was this creamy coconut milk kind of thing, and it was really good (it could have been more hot). My husband doesn't like coconut and he liked it-(it didn't have that shredded coconut texture). Then we each had a chicken egg roll and I had a Thai coffee, which was sweet and had heavy cream floating on the top. My husband had the special of the filet mignon which he ordered with fries, and I had what I ordered last time (wanted to break out, but couldn't do it!) It was spicy brandy chicken ( I think it was brandy-it was some type of alcohol). It was buttery and creamy and yummy-and had just the right amount of spice. I said medium, and it was just right. They were "out" of risotto, so I had to have rice with it, and our server was very slow, and forgetful. She forgot to ask about salad dressing completely and then disappeared for about a half hour. We'll be back-hopefully with someone else's hijacked coupon!
By the way, I love the low lighting, the cool blue lights, and the atmosphere. Great place for a Wednesday night!
So glad you both liked it! Thanks for reporting back. The service there is usually weird and sporadic... I don't think we've ever experienced a totally "together" night service-wise. But it's a family-run place, unique, cheap, and the food is great, so I don't mind (if I'm spending $50+ per person at 112 or someplace, yes, but not for $15-$20 on University Ave). The coconut basil soup truly is the bomb--so rich and creamy. And I don't like coconut, either!
I second the coconut soup--so delicious. I find myself craving it often. My hubby and I always share an appetizer steak salad thingie (I believe it is called Fireside Steak). I would definitely recommend it if you eat meat--steak strips, tender and nicely cooked, on a bed of fresh greens with a spicy sauce. Highly addictive. For the entree, I usually get the fish of the day.
Coconut soup. That stuff is amazing! (But you probably already know that...)
My mom loves the pork chops, and I like the fish dishes. Though I haven't been there for months (gotta get out more), so I'm not sure if the menu has changed recently.
I'd love to hear your report after your dinner!
1613 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104