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May 13, 2009 06:00 AM

So let's cut to the chase...Linda's Thai. Is it worth it??

I'm planning on going out for Thai Tonight and I want to know if Linda's new resto is the go to place or should I look in a different direction.

I want great thai in a comfortable setting. I don't need intimately romantic, but...... I really don't want to be sitting on top of the party beside us either.

Other suggestions would be appreciated too.

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    1. I will give a qualified recommendation for Mengrai Thai. Search the board for ample commentary on this place. The food each time I've gone has been great -- but the portion size has been declining and the service is fairly inept. (sorry, that was harsh, but I've really never encountered service like this at a higher end restaurant...)

      1. food wise absolutely not. small over cooked portions, stinky shrimp, watery curry and high prices to boot. i found the space appeared cramped and it was certainly loud with no soft materials around what so ever... but didn't mind it. it was busy and hub bub was certainly acceptable for a lunch meal.

        i found the experience to be so poor that i went to sukhothai last night to make up for it and was very very happy. some of her curries did come out of the hot table (she suggests it's better this way because the flavours have time to meld) but the pad thai was fresh, just sweet enough and had a nice bit of tang though i could have done tangier. great amounts of chicken and a reasonable portion of each. rice was also included! why curry doesn't just automatically come with rice befuddles me. my bill for 3 items plus rice at lindas was going to be $50... my bill at sukhothai for two items (both mains were the same at each resto) and 2 drinks was $20. sukothai is a clean modern/spare design... certainly nothing to be afraid of.

        2 Replies
        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          So we ended up at sukhothai and were pleasantly surprised. We had the spring rolls, great. The Pad thai sukhothai Delish, the Green curry amazing mix of flavours and just the right heat in all the dishes. Everything was made fresh to order we also had a beef dish (I can't Remember the name) it was a’right, we taste tested another beef dish and other items from the hot table and it was really good. The portions were fair but yes I did notice the Pad Thai only had 3 maybe 4 shrimp :(... The bill for 3 mains, spring rolls and all the hot table taste testing was a ridiculous OMG - $35 we were also very impressed with the clean modern design in a tight space...
          Great recommendation great experience...
          Thank you PP
          I might not go out of my way for it but It was worth it to try.

          1. re: Connoisseur

            awesome, glad you liked it. there are quite a few people here who got it on my radar and i'm really happy they did.

        2. Without hesitation I would have recommended the 'old' Linda's.
          The new one still hasn't 'officially opened' but they have taken the chef from the old location and I've been withholding my review until I've been a couple of times (but as a preview, I had no problems at all with the food which was cooked perfectly for me). Indeed it was crowded - that's a good sign; and I still think the best approach (as at the old Linda's) is to go for the more unusual dishes - the ones that tend to be outside the 'street food' that most restaurants serve.
          For example, ordering Pad Thai at Linda's NEVER made any sense to me - of course it's more expensive there - they have uniformed waiters, clean tablecloths and probably more other overheads. Similarly, a steak at Bymark (or any neighbourhood bistro) costs more than one at a diner.
          I WILL be returning - but won't review until they are officially open.
          Mengrai has extremely casual service - to the point of serving wrong dishes to EVERY table (the last time I was there). I find their spicing 'generic' - I believe another thread said (roughly - I can't refind the thread) that Mengrai allows its sauces to be pre- prepared as the ingredients marry better that way and people prefer it (hope I haven't misquoted the intent) - and that fits with my assessment of lack of distinctiveness in Mengrai's dishes. I also think that Mengrai hustle particular dishes a little too aggressively - not sure why. And their tables are also close together - hence I was able to determine that all other tables got the wrong dishes too - and salvage my course from another table before it was touched.
          Is Linda's great? - Certainly some dishes are (or were) - but Pinstripe Princess's review is disturbing (I believe PP - a regular and valuable contributor to this board) - and totally different to my experience. I didn't have shrimp - but my curry entree included rice - and I was offered more later.(I was there for dinner, not lunch).

          2 Replies
          1. re: estufarian

            thanks for the vote of confidence, i was a little baffled at their response to the shrimp and so it actually might have sealed my fate on not visiting again. it was only one meal though and i knew that i likely wasn't ordering to the best of their abilities but time was my biggest concern and so we picked what i considered easy dishes.

            their menu was much more unique before their move and i'm surprised they didn't try to carry over much of it. though i'm sure that the street food section is the biggest seller. it was certainly what covered the majority of the tables from what i saw.

            1. re: estufarian

              I will preface my comments with the caveat that a) I never ate at the old Linda and b) while I enjoy Thai food, I can't claim to be an afficionado (or even close).

              That being said, I really enjoyed my one meal at Linda, but am inclined to agree with estufarian that the more unusual dishes are probably the better way to go. My husband and I were crazy about the Mieng Kum (which the waitress described to us as "unusual") and the curry fish hot pot, but the lettuce wraps (which the waitress described as a "popular item") were meh and the green curry chicken was good but not exceptional. See my previous review...


            2. Having never been to Linda's, I cannot comment, I can however offer 2 recommendations.

              Our go-to place as of late has been Thai Bistro, on Yonge south of Finch...their pad thai is fantastic, as this is our typical go to quick n easy dish.

              Second suggestion (although recently Estuf has given some negative feedback on it) is Thai Shen Inn, their Tom Yum is without doubt the best I have had in the city, as is their mango salad. They do a 'saucier' version of pad thai, but still very authentic...oh and their whole fried fish in garlic sauce is great too.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Sadistick

                Yes - used to live on their Tom Yum Goong but the OP asked for a 'comfortable setting' 'Nuff said - Thai Shan Inn was a dive!

                1. re: estufarian

                  True...but I did not find it uncomfortable...

                  Either way, I'll take a dive with good food over a up scale joint with mediocre food any day.

                2. re: Sadistick

                  Thai Bistro is about the worst Thai I've had in Toronto. The meat was that horribly tenderized-to-mush stuff you get at cheap buffet places and the Pad Thai had an off flavour. This place is dirty, to boot.