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Thai Restaurant Review - Goodyear AZ in Phoenix West Valley

s
settyfish Mar 13, 2009 09:03 PM

This is the first time I have ever posted anything on ANY food website which amazes me. I am a dedicated foodie, growing up in the gastronomic epicenter known as Chicago. I eat EVERYTHING except, oddly enough, olives. I have recently moved to Goodyear in the West Valley of Phoenix. Naturally, when I moved here, I needed to cover off on my basic needs - good pizza, Mexican food, Chinese, and most importantly Thai food. Living in Chicago, I had been extremely spoiled as good ethnic food can be found anywhere you turn, but Goodyear has been a bit of a struggle - until tonight.

When we moved here a year ago, there were no Thai restaurants in the area. We would drive 25-40 minutes into Phoenix and tried 5 or 6 different places, never finding the quality that we had grown accustomed to. We had recently heard that a new Thai restaurant, Sala Thai, had opened a few weeks ago on the corner of Litchfield and Van Buren, just south of I-10, in Goodyear in a strip mall behind Arby's. Although we didn't have high expectations going into it because of previous Phoenix disappointments, we were thrilled with what we found.

The restaurant is very clean and new and is decorated in traditional Thai style. Very colorful, bright, and a rather large room with plenty of space to handle future dinner rushes. Ultimately, who really cares, it's all about the food!

We started with 2 appetizers - chicken satay and "spring rolls" with shrimp (which in Thai restaurants are typically referred to as summer rolls as these are the un-fried version). The chicken satay was $6 and, although the 5 pieces were a bit small, the chicken was moist and the flavor was delicious. What makes chicken satay is the peanut sauce, and their peanut sauce was EXCELLENT. The only thing that could have improved it is a bit of spice (no kick at all), but my it was perfect for my kids. The cucumber salad was also very tasty, although the pieces of cucumber were diced exceptionally small.
The spring rolls were absolutely delicious - very fresh, a nice balance of crisp vegetables and flavors (cilantro added a nice element), and the shrimp was very plump and good. There were 3 rolls cut in half to an order for $7.95 (if you opt to hold the shrimp they would be $5.95). What was critical to the flavor was their hoisin sauce. Typically, I am not a big fan of hoisin as many Thai restaurants have a thicker version that almost have an overpowering, plummy flavor. Theirs was a bit thinner, loaded with crushed peanuts, and had a touch of sweetness that really worked well with the roll. We even ordered a second round because the combo was so good.

We typically order Tom kha soup, and although theirs looked pretty good in the menu, they did not have an individual size and you needed to order a full pot for $10, so we decided to forgo that favorite this time through.

On to the entrees - pad thai with shrimp, mussuman curry with chicken, and pad see ewe with beef, I believe all entrees were $8,95. The pad thai had a very flavorful sauce and the shrimp was plump as in the spring rolls but still had tails on. Pad see ewe was the same - flavorful sauce, relatively tender beef, and the vegetables were pleasantly crisp. However, the mussuman curry stole the show. If you haven't had this dish before, it is a curry with a coconut milk base that has potato, onion, chicken, and peanuts in it. The saucy curry dish is served in a bowl and you pour the meat / veggies over white rice. They provided a big bowl of sticky rice that was perfect and plentiful. Although the sauce had virtually no kick (we ordered level 2 or medium spice), the sauce was SO good. The color was a bit paler than we are used to (almost yellow in color), but it was cooked to perfection.

For dessert, we had mango with sticky rice, a sweet treat that was also pretty tasty. Not really my cup of tea, as I am a chocoholic, but the wife enjoyed that one.

I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for delciious ethnic food in the West Valley. In fact, if we had found this place when driving into Phoenix for Thai (their original location is in north Phoenix at 32nd and Shea), we would be making the 40 minute trip on a monthly basis! SInce we have now tried a huge cross-sections of restaurants in the West Valley, if you need recommendations for other types of food or want an opinion of a specific restaurant, I would be happy to help!

Setty Fish

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Sala Thai Restauraunt
432 N Litchfield Rd, Goodyear, AZ

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    arnoldnoe Mar 15, 2009 07:14 PM

    Would be interested in restaurants around Avondale - visiting a friend who lives there. Dearth of info about that area (even the on-line Phoenix New Times has few reviews). One place seemed unusual, Ararat, whose website says it is run by Armenians, but whose menu doesn't particularly reflect that. Any other ethnic restaurants there? or good bakeries?

    1. j
      jamesndre Apr 26, 2009 07:53 PM

      We went to Sala Thai tonight for my birthday, based on your review, and we loved it! Everything was wonderful, very good. We were worried at first, when we arrived at 6, it was empty but I am so glad that we gave it a shot! We will be returning very soon to try different dishes. Thank you so much for the review.

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        andyeats Apr 27, 2009 09:21 AM

        Thanks for your review! We'll have to give this one a try.

        Another somewhat new Thai restaurant in the area is Thai Orchid, at Indian School and Dysart. We tried this about three months ago. Nothing spectacular, but it's a decent option if you live in the area.

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