Posted by eemilla on November 24, 2009
After almost two years of hearing rave reviews from a handful of people, I finally coerced my husband into eating lunch with me at Tamarind Thai. Off Airport Rd in a mostly empty strip mall and across the parking lot from two large national chains, it is a softly lit little spot with comfortable booths and well spaced tables. Our service was attentive without being overbearing. I am not certain where the fans are eating, but the food was far from exceptional. We started our meal with the spring rolls for $5.95; we received four fairly short skinny rolls with a gelatinous, saccharine sweet sauce. The rolls were filled with cabbage, carrots, and clear noodles so they really needed a strong sauce to save them; I would have preferred a spicy peanut sauce, but even plain old tamari would have been an improvement.
The main course provided much more food for the price (I don’t recall seeing an entree over ten dollars); however, I did take issue with being charged a $1.50 for requesting brown rice in lieu of the white rice that comes with the dish, especially when I declined the choices of chicken soup or salad with ginger dressing that come with all entrees (our sever, to his credit, was explicit about the fact that I would be charged). We both opted for medium heat, but my prik khing (chili and snap peas) was clear the sinuses hot compared to my husband’s truly medium pad thai. I longed for the soothing creaminess of coconut milk or refreshing crispness of cilantro, and I cursed having to go back to work because I am certain a colbeer would have eased the heat. Regarding the pad thai, it was just as greasy as one expects when ordering pad thai, but it too needed the crisp clean taste of cilantro or coriander.
Relative to its surroundings Tamarind Thai is a fine restaurant, but there are many restaurants within a short drive in the other direction that serve better food for about the same amount of money. I feel compelled to try Thai Basil and possibly even uber-divey Wanpen.