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Jan 9, 2010 08:23 PM

Tonight at Sab-e-lee 2 in Santee

I went to Sab-e-lee 2 tonight with my wife and adult son. It was the third time I have eaten there, and I have greatly enjoyed all three meals. I had read about Sab-e-lee on this board, and was excited to hear that #2 was nearer to our home in El Cajon. I agree with most of the reviewers that I have read here that Sab-e-lee is a great place to dine.

We began with Miang Kum, #1 on the Nibbles Signature Dished page. On a plate are piles of diced ginger, onions. thai peppers, lime, peanuts, dried shrimp, toasted coconut, and a sweet sauce, which you pile on to spinach leafs. It is wonderful. In the recent New Yorker article about Jonathan Gold, they mention this dish being served "off the menu" to Gold in a Los Angeles restaurant.

Tom Kah Gai was our soup and it was also very good. Good coconut milk body, not extremely spicy. Full of mushrooms and chicken. Chicken panang curry which is my son's favorite came next. A mild red peanut curry, mildly spiced, which we ate to the last drop. The three flavor catfish was a new dish for us. I was expecting an whole catfish with tail and head. Instead it was a large fillet that had been fried and rested on the three (sour. sweet and spicy) sauce.

While not an expert on Thai food, I have visited Thailand several times and enjoy Thai food. Sab-e-lee 2 is the best Thai restaurant I have been to in San Diego. I am not thrilled that there is a large TV (turned to the football game) in the dining room, but that is a small criticism.

2405 Ulric Street, San Diego, CA 92111

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  1. glad you liked it!
    just an FYI, the link that is on your post is for the Linda Vista location.

    1. gees we were going to go .. BUT I cannot go anywhere with a TV in the dining room,or the bar that is in view.. That is a dining killer to me.. thanks for the info..

      9 Replies
      1. re: butterbutt

        The television isn't on all the time. I'm fairly certain they turned it on because it was the weekend, and those were playoff games.

        1. re: phee

          Agreed that it is not on all the the time but I have to say that any restaurant who has a TV in the dining area is a disappoinment. You never know if it will be on when you go there and a running TV is completely opposite would you need for a good meal.

          1. re: honkman

            The televisions were in there when it was Thai Style (yes, there are two). All the furniture, cutlery, plates, glassware are from Thai Style. So is the pink paint. The phone number is the same. The locked wifi is still labeled Thai Style.

            Only the wall hangings are different. The Thai Style people took theirs.

            1. re: Cathy

              My complaint wasn't only about SEL but in general to all restaurants which have TVs in their dining room. I wish SEL would just remove theirs.

              1. re: honkman

                Well, I do agree with that. Maybe Kobe will at some point.

            2. re: honkman

              What of Surati Farsan Mart and their Bollywood films? I can't really say the TV being on made my food taste worse. Super Cocina usually has a small TV on as well.

              1. re: DougOLis

                I know people think different about restaurants and TVs but for me it is one of the "worst mistake" a restaurant can do. For me part of any meal I have is the social part to eat with other, talk with them and a TV is pretty much the opposite. It might be also more an European thing. TVs in the US are much more accepted than in Europe where it is considered very rude in most parts of Europe to have a running TV during meals (at home or in restaurants)

                1. re: honkman

                  honkman, this "may" be an Asian/ethnic casual eatery thing. Pho Cow Cali and Lucky Pho both have tv's. So does Pho T Cali (giant big screen) and Surati Farsan Mart (as mentioned above). Mama Testa's had a tv on at one point, although I didn't notice it the last time I was there.

                2. re: DougOLis

                  Folks, a discussion of whether TVs are a problem is really off-topic for this regional board. If you'd like to continue that part of the conversation, please start a new thread on Not About Food. Thanks!