Saffron Going Downhill?
It is with considerable sadness that I post this message as Saffron has long been one of my favorite places to eat in San Diego. They are well known for their Thai BBQ Chicken and daily noodle/rice specialties.
Owner Su Mei (recent author of a well regarded Thai cookbook) may be hitting the famous author trail a bit too hard and perhaps not minding the home fires quite enough.
Over the last year, I have had at least 15 meals of greasy chicken, insipid noodle dishes, and generally poorly prepared fare. I have continued to patronize Saffron hoping against hope that the turn down in quality was an aberration. Unfortunately, I am afraid that it was not.
An addendum: I am aware that the owners companion recently passed away and am very sorry about this. However, the downturn in quality preceded this event by at least 11 months
I've not had great luck there recently. I found the "salad rolls" crude; they were sloppily put together and contained too much vermicelli. I also found the fried noodles (I've had a Vietnamese Friday special, pad se euw) a bit gelatinous. In the case of the Vietnamese noodles, the overwhelming flavor was that of Chili Garlic Sauce, which is not bad, but directly from the jar. The phu like chicken soup was watery. The dried beef at the counter was a bit too dry and flavorless (although I have been seriously spoiled by the fabulous New Beef King in Chinatown in NY for such products). Overall, I thought the restaurant not terrible, but not great. Please beware, however: (1) I have not been often enough to actually review it (for example, I've not yet sampled the grilled chicken); and (2) I am new to SD and have no prior experience to determine if indeed the restaurant was different before. Given the choice, I'd eat at Amarin Thai on Richmond at University.
I'm new to this message board - so please excuse any possible lack of "net-iquette". Having moved to SD about a half-year ago, and having done contract work in SD over the last 3 years - I consider Saffron a pseudo-fast food joint, nothing more......I've been there about 5 times, and can come to no other conclusion, decent food. I believe the original intent of Saffron was to impart the flavors of the "street-food" of Thailand.....