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Thai E-sarn

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Edokko Sep 6, 2013 02:57 PM

Noticed today driving home that Tom Yum Koong II in Arlington Heights has been replaced by Thai E-sarn. It's not open yet. Does anyone have any more information about this place?

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    Gremolata RE: Edokko Sep 9, 2013 03:39 AM

    Sorry, no info, but with that name I'm wondering if it might specifically be northern Thai cuisine. Which would be pretty incredible, if you think about it, that the Arlington food scene is now developing to the point that we're getting specific regional Thai food. I hope that this works out -- I don't want to have to trek over to Thai North if we have an alternative in our own back yard.

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      Edokko RE: Edokko Sep 20, 2013 03:14 PM

      I saw signs today proclaiming Grand Opening on Monday, Sep. 23. "Free appetizer sampler."

      1. opinionatedchef RE: Edokko Sep 21, 2013 10:34 PM

        this was mentioned on the monthly closings thread- you may want to find that. i think it was suggested that the menu would be the same or near.

        1 Reply
        1. re: opinionatedchef
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          grant.cook RE: opinionatedchef Sep 22, 2013 05:31 AM

          Stopped in yesterday to get a menu....nothing unique that I could see...

        2. Ferrari328 RE: Edokko Nov 5, 2013 12:46 PM

          Stopped by for lunch today, the interior looks nice but I never visited TYKII so I don;t know if anything has changed. Looks like the normal extensive Thai menu, nothing special but they have a good amount of dishes available for lunch and they all come with either Tofu Soup or Salad. I had the salad with my lunch and it was just lettuce and some julienned carrots with a small tomato and a home made dressing. I ordered the Duck Noodle Soup and the soup itself was OK, the noodles were cooked well, not mushy at all but the duck was dry. There was one slice that was OK. The service was very nice and I'll be back to try some more dishes.

          http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

           
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            Walthamfoodman RE: Edokko Nov 5, 2013 02:52 PM

            Tried it for lunch last week. Just not good. Ordered the crispy chicken basil and it was anything but. The chicken was cooked to death, then covered with bread crumbs and fried. Just awful. Plus there was no basil in the dish.
            The entire experience was totally blah. Absolutely nothing special here and the lack of enthusiasm from the waitress sealed the deal that we won't be back.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Walthamfoodman
              StriperGuy RE: Walthamfoodman Nov 5, 2013 04:09 PM

              Thanks for taking one for the team, sorry it was so lame.

            2. Ferrari328 RE: Edokko Nov 13, 2013 10:59 AM

              Went back today to give them another chance and this time I tried the Spicy Squid lunch portion and it was excellent, well cooked squid in an excellent sauce that was spicy enough to justify the two peppers on the menu. The Tofu soup that's included was just so so. The only drawback was that the deep fried squid was drenched in the sauce so any crispiness went out the window. Despite that it was a very nice lunch.

              http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

               
              1. Ferrari328 RE: Edokko Dec 3, 2013 11:36 AM

                Decided to go back to try one of their lunch boxes. I asked about the name and was told that E-sarn (Wikipedia calls it Isan) is a distinct region of Thailand with their own regional cuisine. They do have a "special" menu in Thai with the local dishes listed and they are working on an English version. She said that if you like spicy dishes you would like this. If you read Thai, ask for it now.
                I choose the Spicy Basil lunch box with Chicken ordered with fried Goyza. I ordered it as listed, 2 out of 3 peppers, and I would give it 1 1/2. Nice kick but not overwhelmingly spicy. Salad was the normal salad that it's a choice when you order from the regular menu. The Goyza was crispy and very light with a soy dipping sauce. The Spicy Basil was OK with the standard veggies, not the most exciting thing on the menu but there was plenty of food and the veggies was fresh. Service is very nice nad friendly.

                http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                 
                7 Replies
                1. re: Ferrari328
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                  Edokko RE: Ferrari328 Dec 3, 2013 11:55 AM

                  That sounds promising. Too bad I can't read Thai, though. I hope they get an English version out soon.

                  1. re: Edokko
                    Ferrari328 RE: Edokko Jul 3, 2014 08:18 AM

                    They finally have the special menu translated!
                    http://www.thaiesarncuisine.com/menu/...

                    http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                    1. re: Ferrari328
                      digga RE: Ferrari328 Jul 3, 2014 11:19 AM

                      Most excellent! Though we've lived for about 3 years within walking distance, we only recently tried it and were pleasantly surprised! We enjoyed the papaya salad (we asked for spicy and it was fairly so) and the pla rad prik (fried fish filets in a spicy garlick-y sauce). We haven't been back yet, but between Szechuan's Dumpling and Thai E-Sarn, we're pretty happy with our Asian dining choices in our tiny corner of the world.

                      1. re: Ferrari328
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                        Edokko RE: Ferrari328 Jul 4, 2014 12:15 PM

                        Thanks, that looks intriguing. Must try soon.

                        1. re: Ferrari328
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                          Edokko RE: Ferrari328 Jul 12, 2014 11:16 AM

                          Went there for lunch today and tried a couple of dishes from the special menu with my wife--the Yum Pla Dook Foo (spicy crispy catfish salad) and Larb Woon Sen with pork. The salad had a nice chili kick with a strong dose of lime juice with a lot of crunchy texture from the fried catfish bits. The fish must have been shredded fine, because there were no distinguishable morsels of flesh. Quite refreshing on a hot summer day. The Larb had a fairly complex amalgamation of flavors from the fish sauce, cilantro, mint, and lime juice. Not as spicy as the catfish salad, but nevertheless carried its own weight in pop.

                          So, first impressions were quite good. There are a number of other dishes I'd like to try on the special menu, so this will be my go-to place for Thai in the near future.

                          1. re: Ferrari328
                            rlh RE: Ferrari328 Jul 14, 2014 09:23 AM

                            We will not be back to this place that we can see from our house any time soon after a really disappointing dinner from the "Authentic Menu" last night.

                            But first the positive: the service was gracious, warm, and responsive throughout the meal, and the Singha beer was cold.

                            We had (shrimp) fresh rolls, green papaya salad with seafood (shame on us for ordering that on Sunday night....I guess), and chicken larb woon sen - all of the food was too sweet/processed tasting, there was very little heat (we weren't asked about preference and assumed authentic implied heat where heat is normally expected), and not fresh or aromatic at all in terms of produce / herbs - wilted brown iceberg lettuce, desiccated carrot garnishes, etc.

                            My spouse who is adventurous and open-minded about food and eats pretty much everything declared it "disgusting".

                            We were also put off upon entering by a combo of musty/moldy/chemical smells - not what we look for in a dining experience - ever.

                            Finally, there was only one other occupied table in the entire room last night, and we didn't observe any takeaway activity while there. Now I understand why.

                            1. re: rlh
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                              Edokko RE: rlh Jul 14, 2014 11:07 AM

                              Sorry to read about your bad experience. For reference, the raw vegetables that we got for Saturday lunch were all very fresh and the herbs were strong. Perhaps Sunday night is a bad time or they have a problem with quality control, which would be disturbing. We'll be going back another time to take another sample.

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                        T.B. RE: Edokko Jul 14, 2014 12:57 PM

                        Stopped in last night to check out the new menu options with a friend who lives in Arlington. We got the spicy crispy catfish salad, green papaya salad with salted black crab, and beef nam tok. We also ordered spicy herb duck (or some such) off the specials board as our friend loves duck.

                        The green papaya salad arrived first and did have some zing as well as plenty of smashed crab bits to crunch on, so I was looking forward to the catfish. That was crunchy and pretty tasty but not particularly spicy, and neither was the nam tok, which had overcooked beef to boot. Given other reports I'm guessing they dumbed down the spice for us. (The duck dish, a pleasant prep with green beans, wasn't spicy either but we weren't expecting it to be.)

                        Thankfully we didn't have anything smelling off or being not fresh like the other Sunday report, and the meal was an improvement over the one other time we tried the place, but it didn't blow us away. If we end up there again we'll see if we can get them to prepare the catfish salad and/or a larb that has some actual heat; what we had was well below even our modest preference.

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