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Little Budda in Stamford??

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Has anyone tried it yet, I think it is the same owners as Little Thai restaurant so I am curious how it compares to Kit's, Ocha and Republic Grill. I like Kit's and Ocha very much but I want to know if when you have more or less a chain does the food get lost. I never ate at Little Thai Kitchen so please tell me your thoughts. Thank you.

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  1. Some info from NYT's:
    "Little Thai Kitchen in Greenwich is a tiny BYOB that has become especially popular since last fall when the economy crashed, said Shiva Natarajan, the owner. Its two sister restaurants, Little Thai Kitchen in Darien and Thai Spice in Norwalk, have liquor licenses, but have allowed BYOB for a $4.50 corkage fee.

    “It’s funny you should call, because we just decided last week to lower the corkage fee to $3,” Mr. Natarajan said in late February. He is also planning to open a Thai/Hakka restaurant called Little Buddha in Stamford this month that will be BYOB with no corkage fee. “I knew we could get a liquor license in Stamford,” he said, “but I decided against it because people really love the BYOB thing.”'
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/05/nyr...

    1. I ordered take-out from Little Buddha tonight after reading a rave review on Stamford Talk's blog. I have minimal experience with Thai food (basically limited to Pad Thai - had one not so great experience with it at Galangal and haven't been inspired to try more since then), so I don't know if I can vouch for authenticity. I ordered Beef Larb (spiced minced beef, rice powder, mint, and red chiles) and Drunken Noodles with Chicken (flat rice noodles, black soy sauce, fried eggs, chiles).

      The Beef Larb ($8) was in the salad category, and I'm not really sure how it qualifies as salad, but it was delicious! The combination of beef with mint intrigued me, and it was definitely a bit odd the first couple of bites, but it definitely grew on me. Some of the mint leaves had a bit too much of the stems on (couple felt like I had small twigs in my mouth), but overall I enjoyed the dish. It was spicy, but didn't burn my mouth off.

      The Drunken Noodles ($11) were fantastic and might be my new favorite take-out dish. There were actually very few noodles (mostly chicken), but I really enjoyed the flavors. They all blended well without being overpowering. This was also a spicy dish. I was wishing I had ordered some roti or rice to break up all of the spicy bites, but I've learned for the next time around.

      FYI - ordering both of these dishes was way too much for one meal, but I couldn't decide and wanted to try them both.

      I plan on stopping by for lunch over the weekend to try the Green Curry (which Stamford Talk gives a big thumbs up to), but my first experience with Little Buddha was excellent. I've seen good reports on the sister restaurants (Little Thai Kitchens in Greenwich and Darien) on these boards, and I think Little Buddha lives up to those reputations.

      3 Replies
      1. re: gillyweed

        Been there-- very good food. Had the Sambal chicken, Hot Garlic shrimp, and pork with Green Curry. All were pretty highly spiced, so keep that in mind if you like it a bit milder.

        Keep in mind the place is mostly designed for take-out with 8 2 top tables. (It's in the former emack and bolio's ice cream shop location.)

        Also, reports on BYOB are misguided, they do have a liquor license.

        Anyway, check it out, much better than Kit's.

        1. re: gillyweed

          Couldn't get their chicken panang curry out of my mind, so it being Friday nite fun nite foodwise went over there again for takeout. The place was jumping. All tables full and people waiting to be seated. My takeout order that took 10 minutes on a weekday night ended up being 30 minutes. But worth it. wow, the beef with red curry this time was even better than the chicken penang..

          The guy waiting with me was going nutz. At one point he said too loudly don't these people speak English. The manager looked at me and smiled, then went over to him and in impeccable english apologized for the delay, said they were incredibly busy, and gave him a 10 per cent discount.

          Pays to be a racist I said to the guy. He didn't get it. The manager did, but he was busy bussing and scurrying in the kitchen.

          Love this place.

          1. re: gillyweed

            I finally made it back to try the Green Curry this weekend. It was the first time I've ever tried a Curry - I've always been put off by the coconut (I like coconut, but find it can easily become overpowering). My fears were missplaced, however, as the flavors were well balanced and the curry was sweet without being cloying. As thefoodbully noted, it is definitely highly spiced, but not to the point where the spiciness overwhelms. The only thing I didn't like was the eggplant. The chunks just seemed too large and slightly undercooked.

            Overall, I really liked the dish and will definitely order again.

            I also ordered the Drunken Noodles again (wanted a backup meal in case I didn't like the Green Curry) and they were excellent again. Seemed slightly less spicy this time around, though it may have just seemed that way compared to the curry.

            I agree with louuuuuuu - love this place and am excited to keep trying new dishes.

          2. Decided at last moment to grab takeout and decided to give this place a try after reading the CH reviews.

            WOW. Chickan curry penang... sweet and tart in the best indonesian tradition. One of the best I've ever tasted. Ordered it at the counter, was ready to go 6 minutes later.

            Despite its tough parking location, this place should be hot. Half full when I dropped in at 6 and lots of takeout bags ready for pickup. There might be some parking in the alley behind, but not a lot of room there either.

            Really impressed.

            2 Replies
            1. re: louuuuu

              Had takeout from there two weeks ago as we are a little tired of Kit's. Overall between five of us with different tastes we really liked it and will be our choice next time we get together.

              1. re: lillydaisy

                I've always liked Kit's. But my last experience there was really average. Disappointingly so. This place is much closer to me anyhow... I should give it a try here shortly. I'm glad it's getting good reviews thus far...

            2. At here on a weeknight last week with DH and was very impressed. The food was really wonderful, very flavorful (but SPICY, so beware). The Beef Larb salad was great as was the Shrimp Sambal. I recommend this restaurant heartily and would definitely go back.

              Contrary to an early post, they did NOT have a liquor license as of last week so it was BYOB.

              1. Tried it for lunch the other day. Had the Chicken with red curry, and it was excellent.

                1. Their cauliflower manchurian & vegetable hot oil dumplings are really good.. I order them every time I go

                  1. I love Little Buddha! I order from there a couple of times a month and I'm never disappointed. Their beef rendang and nonya chicken curry are both awesome.
                    The chiang mei noodle soup is also another winner - far, far better than their tom kha. Chicken larb is also very good.

                    Definitely agree with the others here, the food is spicy and I don't mean wimpy spice either. I love spicy food so it doesn't put me off at all, but if you're into milder flavors you might want to ask them to tone it down a bit.

                    Definitely think this place is way, way better than Kit's and a bit more refined too flavor wise.

                    1. Thanks everyone, OP, for this post - went to Little Buddha last night and loved it. The interior was very nicely done, modern and clean. Had the hot oil dumplings and the chili chicken, both of which were great. My wife had the laksa shrimp rice noodle dish, which ended up being too spicy for her to finish. I thought she was being overly picky, but after rereading some of these posts it may have really been spicy. It will take a few more dishes to confirm, but I think this could be as good if not better than Kits, Ocha, and Galangal.