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Mar 21, 2009 11:31 AM

Beacon Hill-Calgary-California/Thai

As Tex_in_YYC has mentioned the Mucho Burrito in Beacon Hill doesn't suck.

Today we tried the California/Thai place for Pad Thai as suggested by Ariadream and it was really good. Huge portions, we took half home. There are some choices, we had traditional; shrimp for me and chicken for husband. They were nicely spicy.The other choices are California and golden. We overheard a family who came in after us being told that California is less spicy but they were asked how spicy they wanted their pad thai. We weren't asked when we ordered traditional. I assume one could ask for more of a hit.. $21 with drinks for two. Not bad. Very much a fast food atmosphere but I haven't had better pad thai in the fancier places around town. And, on a Saturday, there was no line-up and lots of parking!

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  1. Good to know sharonanne...Looks like there are quite a few of us who live near(ish) to Beacon Hill. I usually avoid BH on the weekends when the Costco lineups are usually at their worst. Truth be told I haven't stopped for food anywhere in BH yet, although I have been looking for an excuse. I think all the shovelling I did today is reason enough :)

    1. Thanks for the report, was curious about some of the places there. We have taken to call the area Fast Food Alley. Will be nice to have some choices instead of the kids screaming for pizza as I whiz past the food kiosk at Costco and out the door.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sweeterpea

        Reporting back; took the 7-year old twins and my 3-year old to California Thai -- I had the golden chicken Pad Thai and it was pretty good. Not like what you would get in a good Thai restaurant, but good enough, noodles "al dente" and I would call it medium spicing. Enough to feel a slight burn but not enough that you need a fire hydrant. Needed a bit of soy, but otherwise I would return. The portion was HUGE.

        The kids shared the Sweet Mango Beef stir fry on rice and even though they say it's medium spicy the kids polished it off. The beef is deep-fried akin to ginger beef, and next time I will ask for it stir-fried instead. Either they forgot to add the heat or it's not that spicy, the kids had no problem with it. Portions are huge and 3 kiddie appetites can eat one order.

        Other things that look interesting: Green curry on rice, mango salad, pineapple fried rice, basil fried rice, cashew nut and your choice of protein stir fry, Chow fun noodles (they call them Ho Fun noodles) The prep area is very visible and the stuff looked very fresh and the cooking area clean. Everything is made to order.

        The place is has plenty of spartan, modern furniture to sit and eat and staff extremely pleasant. We will be back.

      2. Tried California Thai today and was not impressed. The Pad Thai had no taste & the curry was just okay. I think it is a step down in quality from Thai Express at the Mall & two steps down from a "real" Thai restaurant. I would check out all the other places in Beacon Hill (Mucho Burrito, Vietnamese, Mongolie Grille, etc) before considering returning.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Merry113

          If you don't mind me asking, what flavour did you order? We liked the traditional flavour but would avoid the others if they are bad.

          I struggled to find a way to say this without sounding arrogant but this is as good as it gets so please don't take offense. We aren't new to Thai food. We've both taken Thai cooking lessons in Thailand and have visited the country more than once and we both liked the pad thai at this place. Pad thai varies like mad all over as do personal tastes so all opinions are valid. I just want to know what not to order.

          And, I highly doubt the owners are Thai. The odds in Calgary just make it more likely that they are Chinese and the menu includes wonton soup so the authenticity is suspect in any case. On the other hand, these days, fusion is more the norm than the exception in Asian restaurants so who knows.

          1. re: sharonanne

            I got the Traditional. I didn't think it was "bad" but I didn't really like it either. I was with my mother who asked for hers not to be too spicy so maybe they "dumbed" mine down too. I just thought it didn't taste like much.

            I don't take offense to your comments. I agree that everyone's taste is subjective. I also find that experiences (even for the same person) can vary wildly from visit to vist. It was almost 2pm & the place seemed to be winding down from the lunch rush. Maybe that was a factor, who knows.

            Forgot to mention that I got spring rolls on my visit as well & they were the one thing that I would say were "bad". Would never order them again. Very greasy and didn't taste good at all.

            1. re: Merry113

              I do think a lot of the flavour came from the lime but there was definite heat, even enough for husband. He may have been humoring me though as I was so excited that we have some more choice up here.

            2. re: sharonanne

              The owners appear Cantonese. I am Asian and understood everything they were saying to each other.

              1. re: sweeterpea

                Thanks. Another suspicion confirmed. I still like the pad thai but makes you wonder why they can't make a good spring roll.

            3. re: Merry113

              I just tried it with my kids for lunch and I was of a slightly different opinion.

              Kids really liked their lunch - BBQ chicken on rice and wonton soup - although they didn't like the spring rolls (which I didn't like either).

              I thought the Pad Thai was tasty which my wife (& kids) liked. I had the Golden curry with chicken on rice (I would ask for extra sauce) which was good. The staff was extremely nice to us and gave us samples to help us order. And we got a ton of food - we had to pack up the Pad Thai to go.

              So, in this particular experience, I found it a step up from Thai Express. Just ask for samples.

              I also have to agree that Mucho Burrito doesn't suck.

              At least the options at BH are much more eclectic than just burgers, pizza, subs, etc. Next place for me to try would be the Vietnamese place, but I've been holding off on that since my gut feel is that it might disappoint...