Thank goodness for the imaginative people of Lodi. The dining public demands new and delicious ways to eat out, and it seems we have no shortage of creative restaurateurs willing to fill that demand.
In that vein, the latest edition to the unique eateries we have to choose from is Thai Spices Restaurant located in Woodlake Plaza in Lodi.
My better half and I are always thrilled when there is a new place to try. We're not adventurous eaters, but we are always ready for something different. So when Thai Spices arrived, we were there.
The restaurant is located in the same shopping center as one of our favorite places to eat, Jade Fountain.
Whereas Jade Fountain is small and intimate, Thai Spices is about twice the size and offers a spacious place to enjoy your meal. Yet the atmosphere remains intimate and relaxing.
The hostess, co-owner Bun Goble, is a petite woman, but she is big on charm and graciousness. When the Missus and I entered, she showed us to our table and made sure we were comfortable. As our waitress Ann Greenley took our drink orders, I couldn't help but notice that Goble was going table to table, checking on all the patrons.
Thai Spices' menu is easy to navigate and has a large variety of Thai cuisine to choose from. There are chili pepper icons to denote which items can be ordered with mild, medium, hot or "Thai" spicy. So if you're truly one of the adventurous eaters out there, you'll know right where to head on the menu.
Most dishes are available with a choice of chicken, beef or pork, and for an addition $2 shrimp or calamari can be added.
"My style is all family recipes," Goble said. "It is very healthy food."
With a list of choices as varied and colorful as the Thai culture itself, we had a hard time deciding what we wanted to try. It took some hemming and hawing, but I decided on Thai fried rice with beef (I'm a sucker for fried rice) and Missus picked the lad nah, which is pan fried rice noodles topped with broccoli and a gravy sauce.
Goble's favorite item on the menu is the pad ped tale, which is scallops, prawns, calimari and mussels sautéed in a red curry sauce with bell peppers, bamboo shoots, onions and sweet basil.
Where: 2401 W. Turner Road, Ste. 224
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday; Noon to 9 p.m., Sunday
Prices: Appetizers range from $4.95 to $6.95; soups and salads range from $3.75 to $9.95; main dishes range from $6.75 to $12.95
Bun Goble, owner of Thai Spices Restaurant, says her perfect
Thai meal would have to be a papaya salad, called som tom.
"Papaya salad is very popular for the Thai people," said Goble. "Every Thai restaurant is going to have that, because every generation knows it and likes it."
I'm very particular about my fried rice, and I wasn't disappointed with the dish when it arrived, fresh and hot. The taste was hearty and deep, and the portion was just right for my lunchtime appetite. The lad nah had just the right amount of spice to add a little extra zing to the dish, but the spiciness didn't linger.
Perusing the wine menu, one will find that there is a large selection of Lodi wines and some from outside the area (you know, those other wine valleys).
The service was prompt, attentive and never overbearing. And the dishes are just as charming and decorative as the rest of Thai Spices. It seems every detail has been taken care of. Even though Goble, along with co-owner Ying Suthipatt, just opened the doors to the business on June 28, it's like she's been in business for years.
For those who want to bring the pleasure of Thai Spices Restaurant back to the home or office, take out is happily offered.
With all the great Asian cuisine being offered in Lodi these days, it's hard to choose where we want to eat next. We do know we'll be returning to Thai Seasons very soon. And I'm ordering pad ped tale when we do.