Today I grabbed some takeout from Thai Basil. I believe I ate here once years ago, but that was the only time and I don’t remember anything about it. I walked in at around 12:30. There were only 3 other customers there, a couple waiting for their food and one person waiting for take out. I snagged a takeout menu from a stand near the front door on my way in and the single server gestured for me to have a seat at one of the tables. I already knew I would be getting my three usual dishes. I’ve looked at the menu closer in the past and one thing that is a little disappointing is that they don’t seem to have any duck.
The dining room is fairly large, it goes back to the far end of the space. There is a kind of decorative divider wall of sorts at an angle that seperates the front from the more narrow back area. I sat at a table that was right up against it and I decided that if they were busy, this could be a little uncomfortable place to sit do to the proximity to the table on the other side, because there are large holes in the divider, so you’re pretty much sitting next to the other table as if it was one larger, 4-person table. For today though, this wasn’t a problem. A few other small parties arrived and were seated while I sipped on a Thai iced tea and waited for my order. I watched the server attend to everyone in the restaurant. He seemed to be efficient, but not very talkative or personable. I liked the dining room overall, aside from the placement of the two tables. The ceiling was a kind of cool paneling with shiny green appearance. I noticed they had 4 big Peavey speakers set up, they seem to be equipped for a rock show. The music that was playing was coming out of smaller, ordinary speakers, so I have no idea what the Peavey’s were for.
My food took around 15 minutes to come out, and I was on my way. I ordered the Thai Basil salad (grilled marinated chicken breast and boiled egg served over mixed leaf lettuce, tomatoes, mushroom, onions and cucumber. Served with Thai peanut dressing). After the drive where it sat between the Pad-See-Ew and steamed rice it was a bit on the warm side but still very good. The chicken pieces were quite large and I found myself cutting them in half. The lettuce and other veggies were all fresh and as crisp as could be given the temperature change. They probably would have been perfect for dine in. Perhaps it would have been better to have this bagged separately. The peanut sauce was great and they included more than enough for the size of the salad.
The Pad-See-Ew (thick rice noodles and broccoli florets pan-fried with egg in sweet soy sauce) was ordered with chicken and looked like it was going to be pretty good. The flavor was in fact very good, about what I would expect at my favorite Thai places. The noodles were a bit on the chewier side than I really like, but decent. The chicken was unfortunately dry and I had to dip it in the excess sauce that was left in the bottom of the container to help it out.
The Beef Pa-Nang Curry (beef simmered in creamy red curry and coconut milk) was the last dish. The large container of the bright orange-red curry was VERY hot. Spooned over the steamed rice I could get a better look at the contents. Large green bell peppers, sliced tomatoes, bamboo shoots and some little bits of leafy, spinach-looking greens. The beef was speckled with little red spots, which gave a visual cue of the spice that was waiting in it. The menu lists this as a spicy dish, which I didn’t notice but don’t mind at all. It definitely had a kick to it, but it wasn’t overwhelming or so much that it overtook the very nice red curry flavor.
I was generally happy with Thai Basil, but I think I’d probably end up at Ruen Thai or Khun Suda first. The lack of duck on the menu is kind of a biggie for me (Khun Suda doesn’t have it either, but they were awesome enough to make up for it in other ways). Also my favorite dish, Pad-See-Ew was fairly disappointing here. As I mentioned, the service seemed to be on task and efficient, but not too pleasant or eager to please.
I had a little scoop of Safeway Select Cinnamon Churro ice cream for dessert which was pretty amazing. I recommend it.