Celebrating a grand reopening with a renovated dining room, Banh Thai splits its menu into two sections?lunch specials and an all-day menu. After a glimpse through the many offerings, it starts getting easy to imagine yourself contentedly eating Thai all day. The flavor-packed options begin with the appetizers, which comprise a lengthy selection of egg rolls, soft-shell crab, fried tofu, and stuffed chicken wings. Throughout the menu, there are plenty of vegetarian options alongside beef, chicken, pork, and seafood dishes. The chefs also get creative with their red, green, and yellow curries, offering dishes like deep-fried catfish in a red curry and prawns sauteed in a yellow curry with onions and potatoes. If there's still room left for dessert, dinner can end on a sweet note with fried bananas accompanied by coconut or vanilla ice cream.
Chef Andy Ye and his staff of cooks at Banh Thai Restaurant believe their classic dishes deserve an exquisite flavor balance as well as artistic presentation. “Thai chefs focus on creating a blend of the spicy and subtle, the sweet and sour, so that all are equally satisfying to the nose and palate,” says one post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. Luckily, the seemingly endless list of traditional Thai ingredients these chefs have access to allows for ample opportunities to make that happen. Among their creations is a sauce flavored with curry spices that bestows rack of lamb with a bright yellow hue. Seafood isn’t excluded from their artful touch either, as green curry paste, basil, and string beans add pops of green to be soaked up by delicate sea bass. That blend of visual and tasty also extends to more than 30 vegetarian entrees and noodle dishes on the menu that come decorated with savory and sweet touches of eggplant, mango, and cashew.
Banana Leaf blends the flavors of Malaysia and Thailand, with notes of Indian and Chinese cooking added for good measure. The result: surprising, spicy, sometimes-tropical dishes that feature fresh fruits. From the open kitchen diners watch chefs prepare prawns with peppers, shredded mango, and mango sauce, or grilled seabass in banana leaf.
In the natural glow of large picture windows, Chinese and Thai rice and noodle dishes clatter on Chong's Cuisine tables. Curlicues of steam rise from shrimp, vegetables, and chicken, generously slathered in ginger and zesty szechuan sauce. Guests can quickly judge spiciness by spotting a tiny printed pepper beside hot menu items and an invisible picture of Harry Houdini beside mild ones..
Ginger, saffron, and other aromatic spices mingle in Hot Basil Cafe's kitchen, where chefs create dishes inspired by Indian and Thai cuisines. The kitchen maestros prepare Thai dishes such as cashew-nut chicken and spicy catfish, filling place settings alongside tiger prawns and cream pepper chicken baked in an Indian clay oven. They round out each meal with Thai-style iced coffee and indian fruit lassis, as well as wines and ice creams.
San Jose's Bangkok Taste Thai offers a traditional menu of Thai dishes in a relaxed setting. Bangkok Taste Thai is also a good option for those with special dietary needs, offering low-fat, vegan, and gluten-free items on the menu. Round out your meal with a little tipple — Bangkok Taste Thai has a terrific drink list, including beer, wine, and more. Families will feel right at home at Bangkok Taste Thai with its kid-friendly menu and atmosphere. Big crowds can spread out in comfort at Bangkok Taste Thai, which specializes in hosting large groups and gatherings.
Reserve a table ahead of time and avoid the lines. Not a popular place for dress-up dining, most Bangkok Taste Thai patrons come in casual attire. Or, take your grub to-go.
Street parking is available, or, on busy nights, a nearby lot is another option for drivers.
Expect your bill at Bangkok Taste Thai to come in at around $30 per person.