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I missed an opportunity to try out Thai Time III with the lunch gang so convinced two other coworkers to join me a few weeks later. It’s a bit hidden off Genesse Ave near Balboa Ave because the strip mall's back side is facing the main street, but the restaurant itself had more seating than the little mom and pop shop I was expecting! We passed by the hostess stand and grabbed seating in the back section, showered with soft light from a window nearby.

The lunch specials start at $8 for vegetarian or $9+ for meats and include a small soup and salad. The peanut-flavored dressing on the salad wasn’t too thick or strong flavored and meshed well with the lettuce. The soup was a bit sparse, with a few micro pieces of carrot and zucchini floating throughout. I was thinking of tom kha and wished there was a little more of the sour taste I like in there.

I ordered my usual thai dish, the Pad See Ew with chicken. The noodles were soft and sauted with the mild sauce, and I'd get a little spark of red pepper chili every couple of bites. I thought that the egg-y parts had that char I enjoy but the rest of the noodles did not. Still, a decent pad see ew but not my favorite of my little quest.

Also served with the lunch special was a fried wonton and vegetarian eggroll. These came out on the less crisp side and were nothing to brag about as fillers.

My coworker ordered the Panang Curry, which was very creamy and flavorful at the medium heat level. I did sample the sauce a few more times because I couldn't seem to keep myself away for too long. Luckily for me, it wasn't my main dish because my mouth would have been on fire! There was a slow burn to it instead of immediate hot.

My other coworker was happy with his Pad Thai chicken, and its medium level was spicier than the curry. I would have wanted it mild with the sweet flavor popping out more on the thin noodles. It also had way too many brussel sprouts for me! I rarely order Pad Thai, though I suspect my subconscious wants to avoid bean sprouts! But more likely, I just prefer the flat noodles as found in pad see ew…

We were chatting with the waitress who mentioned that the family's grandma was making her famous coconut pudding and brought us some to try! The dessert edges were slightly crusted yet firm enough to hold its shape and the centers were a softer, creamy and deliciously coconut explosion! My coworker mentioned that it was similar to a Filipino dessert but this version was much better! This is normally something that is pre-ordered and they’ll make it in batches priced at 8 for 4.99. Next time I’m here for lunch, I’ll get some for Dennis!

I rather enjoyed my visit to Thai Time III. What really stuck out to me were the two waitresses working there, who were contagiously cheerful! I felt that they treated us as if we were regulars even though it was our first visit. I’d go back for a relaxing mid-day break from the office to try out a couple of their other dishes, but at the mild spice level! See you soon, panang curry!

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Thai Time III
4310 Genesee Ave Ste 111
San Diego CA 92117
(858) 278-4949

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