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Category Archives: Thai

April 23, 2016 – Flo’s

Flo’s Tempe

788 E Baseline Rd

Tempe, AZ 85282

480-588-7922

http://www.madebyflo.com/

Organized by: Karna and Fred

 

In April, we visited one of the three locations of Flo’s, a local Arizona restaurant opened in 1997 and focused on spicing up your experience with Asian cuisine. Their motto of “Traditions with a twist” illustrates that there will be plenty of recognizable dishes but with some twists to wake up your senses.

We made our place on the back patio and, even on this windy day, it was a really comfortable setting with the added bonus of twinkle lights. We certainly enjoyed the San Diego type weather before the Arizona summer rears its ugly head.

As with almost every dinner, we started with cocktails. Ann ordered a Pomerita-Florita, made with tequila, triple sec, pomegranate syrup, lemon juice, sweet & sour, and soda water. To cut down on the sweetness, she ordered it without sweet & sour and it was still plenty sweet and probably more refreshing. Well done Ann! We also ordered some beers like Kiltlifter and the Japanese beer, Asahi, which is similar to a Heineken and a few bottles of Riesling. Just out of curiosity, we also ordered a taster of the Hakutsuru Plum Wine. Yes, it was just as sweet as imagined, but this was different. It was a thicker, more fragrant sweetness. Sound crazy? The best way I can describe it is to say, imagine the difference between drinking the juice of a plum versus the empty, hollow sweetness of a processed candy.

Never one to shy away from apps, we tried the lettuce wraps, potstickers (chicken, pork, and veggie versions), and the spicy wontons. The spicy wontons were hands down my favorite of the night! Shrimp and pork wontons served in a chili oil plus a soy and vinegar sauce. Nom nom nom! The lettuce wraps were a nice surprise as well. Unlike the drier versions that you find at PF Chang’s and Pei Wei, the lettuce wraps are covered in a tasty sauce. Be careful of using the red chile sauce, it carries a yummy but spicy kick!

Kelly and Tony ordered the Hot and Sour Soup, but little did hey know that they would receive a cauldron! Entrees included Thai Fried Catfish and Chile Sauce; Katsu Chicken, which is panko breaded chicken on egg-fried rice with teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds; Yellow Curry Chicken; and Yuxiang Pork, a twist on an imperial dish with bell peppers and onions. The sauce on the Yuxiang was surprisingly sweet considering it was on the “spicy China” side of the menu. Perhaps I needed to order it with more spice? The Spicy Orange Chicken was delicious! If you have ever been to Panda Express, do not make the mistake of thinking this is the same. Instead, think less bread and more flavorful sauce.

Sadly, we didn’t get to try the Peking Duck which is on the “hidden treasures” menu and needs to be ordered 24 hours in advance. For dessert, we enjoyed the Chocolate Won Tons, which were little crisp pastries filled with chocolate ganache and a tasty wrap up to the night.

Overall it was good, but there were plenty of intriguing dishes that we just didn’t have the chance to try. I guess it just means we will have to go back. 🙂

Prost!

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Posted by on 04/24/2016 in Asian fusion, Chinese, Thai

 

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Feb 22 – One for you, Thai for me

Yupha’s Thai Kitchen
1805 E Elliot Rd
Tempe, AZ 85284
480-839-0576
http://yuphasthaikitchen.com/
 
Organized by Tony and Kelly

After hearing a few rave reviews from friends about Yupha’s Thai Kitchen, we knew it was a matter of time before we wound up haunting the tables of this popular Tempe kitchen.

The place was busy – and I mean PACKED – but since we had a group larger than five, we were able to make reservations and be seated right away. The restaurant is not enormous by any means and they try to make the best use of the space so tables are quite close together and it can be a little loud with all the conversation. Still, this slightly crowded atmosphere actually gives the place a feel of a casual neighborhood location where everyone just goes to have a great meal with friends or family. Because of the traffic, you can expect some delays in service but rest assured everyone is on the floor working, even Yupha herself who is regularly roaming the floor and helping with whatever is needed.

First, we opened some bottles of wine (naturally) and then we got started with some Thai Rolls and Corn Fritters. The Thai Rolls are light and crunchy and served with a delicious plum sauce while the Corn Fritters are made of crispy sweet corn with cilantro and served with a sweet and tangy cucumber salad. Both were absolutely excellent and a perfect way to start the meal!

When ordering your dish, Yupha offers six different spice levels. That’s right folks…six! Mild, medium, hot, Thai hot, double Thai hot, and “I don’t want to have anymore internal organs” triple Thai hot. Some of us started with medium since it was a new place for us but we are fans of spice and those that did thought we could have bumped it up to hot. Tony braved the firing squad and ordered his Boat Noodle (meatballs, noodle, broth, and bean sprouts) in Thai hot. He survived and we all agreed that it was quite a tasty spice. Pat and Sarah both ordered Drunken Noodles in medium and could have moved up a notch but Bill got it right the first time, ordering it in “hot”. Either way, the flavors of the Napa cabbage, peppers, onion, egg, chili pepper, and Thai basil in a soy sauce were absolutely outstanding!

Fred S thoroughly enjoyed his repeat performance of the yellow curry and Fred K said his Pla Lad Prik (crispy Tilapia with Thai spicy sweet chili sauce) was exceptional. Don and Kelly raved over their choice of the weekly red curry special filled with sautéed veggies and aptly called the Evil Jungle Princess. I always appreciate a restaurant with humor!

There was a delay with Karna’s Crying Tiger but once she finally tasted her grilled rib eye with “our sauce”, cucumbers, tomatoes, and served with an Emerald dipping sauce, she enjoyed it. Especially the Emerald sauce that she exclaimed was “worth it”.

Jen and Ann debated who ordered the better option between their eggplant and cashew chicken dishes while Janice wisely stayed out of it and just enjoyed both. Jay put on his man-pants and ordered a dish with a spicy Thai herb broth that came with a warning from the server. His gamble paid off and it was loaded with flavor!

We were stuffed but we made a little room in the waistband to try some of the desserts. Score one for us! First up was the weekly special of the Swan in Love, two handcrafted éclairs served with strawberry, raspberry and blueberry, a splash of Grand Marnier, and topped with Honey Greek yogurt. Then we scarfed down the homemade coconut ice cream with fried banana as well as the ever-popular coconut sticky rice. I was so pleased to hear from Yupha that they only serve mango when it is in season. She is more concerned with the quality of the food rather than offering a standard dessert at any time during the year. Cheers to that!

Lastly, we enjoyed a new surprise which was the Thai custard made with Pandanus Leaf (Bai Dteuy). The little ramekin filled with green custard was a completely new adventure and so tasty! We were so intrigued, that Yupha brought out a cookbook to explain the nature of the Pandanus Leaf, which she called the “vanilla bean of Asia”. She was also quick to clarify that they do not cook out of cookbooks rather “these are my momma’s recipes!”  How can you not love this woman who has such a passion for her restaurant and the product she delivers?!

We were so engrossed in devouring our delicious food that we even forgot to take pictures but we did manage to snap a few of the desserts before we gobbled them up.

Thai food is one of my favorite cuisines so I can be quite particular, but Yupha’s Thai Kitchen really hit the mark! It is easy to see why Yupha was named one of Top 45 Chefs in Arizona and the restaurant has won multiple awards. The atmosphere, flavors, and quality of the ingredients really won a Tastebud Oscar from this group!

fried banana with coconut ice cream Swans in Love

 
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Posted by on 02/22/2014 in Thai

 

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February 25, 2012 – Latitude 8

Latitude 8 Thai Grill
11 W Boston Street, Suite #5
Chandler, AZ 85225
480.722.0560
www.latitude-eight.com
Closed on Sundays
Organized by: Jen and Don Westhafer
 

Located in historic downtown Chandler is a fun and delicious Thai grill where we celebrated our February dinner club. Consequently, this is also our 2 year anniversary of our exciting culinary adventure together!

The restaurant is small so if you have a big group, like we did, it’s best to go later or earlier in the evening. There are some small tables outside but only sit there if you don’t plan on being served alcohol with dinner. After waiting for our table to open, from the previous diners, we were ready for cocktails! We sampled a few different ones including the Lychee Martini, a Mandarin Cosmo, Dark and Stormy, or a Tom Collins with crushed cucumber. There is also a white and red wine selection and some good beers on tap that we enjoyed.

Our dining selection began with a mixture of appetizers selected by the co-owner David who, not only has the power to serve up wicked cocktails (according to Jen, drink two and you will be hurting tomorrow), but charm and personality to boot. Our charismatic host delivered us Spring Rolls with a sweet chili sauce, Beef and Chicken Satay with a delicious peanut dipping sauce, and Salt and Pepper Squid which was lightly battered and served with a sweet chili sauce and a slightly tangier green sauce. To the squid lovers, it was very tasty.

For dinner, David also brought us another selection of various menu items that just happened to include the dishes that Pat and Sarah were really eyeing. As Sarah said, “I am totally open to whatever you want to bring us, as long as it includes Musaman Short Rib Curry”. David got Sarah’s not so subtle prompting as well as Pat’s nonchelant plea for Basil Leaf Duck and both dishes received rave reviews. The fresh thai basil mixed with the “most delicious” tomatoes made the duck dish a tasty treat. Additionally, the Short Rib Curry had the most amazing sauce that had just the right amount of spice. The Spicy Eggplant Stirfry was certainly different and received various reviews while the Pineapple Fried Rice was a different twist that hit a home run; flavorful and innovative. Plus what is Thai food without Pad Thai? We enjoyed a nice helping of the freshest Pad Thai with very mild spice.

We had so much food that there was no room for desert so we sadly didn’t get to sample the Mango Sticky Rice. Oh well, guess we will have to go back again. 🙂

 
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Posted by on 02/25/2012 in Thai

 

March 26, 2011 – Thai Chili

Thai Chili

3641 E Baseline Rd Ste Q102
Gilbert, AZ 85234
(480) 219-8330
www.thaichili.us

This month we visited a small local Thai restaurant and immersed ourselves in a world of spices and flavors. Some of the appetizer favorites were the wontons filled with chopped chicken and amazing spices as well as the light, yet crispy spring rolls. Packed full of deliciousness and paired with a sweet and sour sauce that seemed to be made of fresh honey. We sampled a variety of main dishes that included salads, curries and grilled meats with veggies. Some could have used more spice and some were not lacking in the spice category at all, but we enjoyed all the same. Dinner was washed down by a Thai beer called Singha, which was quite tasty, or Riesling, which went nicely with the spices.

The restaurant is small so if you go at peak dinner times, be prepared to wait. Just sit back, enjoy your company and know that the food will be fresh, hot and worth it.

After watching Chugger finish her beer, so as not to commit a party foul and waste any, we headed to the Moore’s for some dessert and relaxation. Chefs Tony and Kelly made an ingenious creation of Belgian waffles with chocolate cake batter. Topped with ice cream, this was the perfect dessert to go with the spicy dinner!

Then Captain Tony treated us to a leisurely cruise around the lake while Sarah tried to blind everyone when taking a picture…in the darkness…with flash of course. Sorry guys, I swear I called “fore”! 😀

 
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Posted by on 03/27/2011 in Thai