Bangkok Bay (Solana Beach)

Once a month, I get to dine out and catch up with my fabulous book club girls, plus we throw in some book talk, as little or as much as we feel like. In May, we all met at Bangkok Bay located in Solana Beach. It was the first visit for all of us so we were excited to try out this place.

First off, you pass by a lot of greenery before you open the front door to the restaurant. There's more leafy pams that you can't see in the picture above.

The decorations inside are very earthy and inviting. Next to our booth was a very cozy table with bench seating and colorful seat pillows!

On the table there was a very cute spice and sauce holder.

Since we were doing family style, we decided to order the Tom Yum with tofu, in the "fire pot" size. This was about double the price of the "bowl" but could feed a lot more people!

Here's my portion. The five of us each ate a bowl of this size and there was enough left over for one extra bowl. I like the simplicity of a dish like this. The soup broth is rather typical and I like the texture and shape of the tofu in here, holds its shape but easy to eat. I especially like that there were mushrooms in the mix.

This is the Som Tom, which is the papaya salad. It has a heavier fish-sauce taste along with the shredded papaya strips. The dish was slightly chilled which kept it refreshing though I still am not a big fan of this dish in general. The girls enjoyed it.

The Pad See Ew chicken here was good but it just didn't have that spark that I wanted for the flavor. I do like the egg bits because they seemed to have that browned quality to them that I wish were on the noodles. It's a simpler feeling soy sauce but I wanted just a little more oomph.

Above is the Hot Basil Tofu. The vegetables here are at a medium crisp cooked and worked fine but I like mine a little more cooked. There was a good sprinkling of basil sauted in here. The tofu is also decent but I still prefer chicken or another meat.

Since I've been eating more thai lately, especially Panang Curry, I'm starting to get a little mixed up on the different versions. I think I like most chicken panang other than Koon Thai, which had sauce that was a bit thick in my opinion. The green beans had a little resistance which is a nice texture for this sauciness. The sauce had a tad bit of heat but I'm glad it wasn't more than I could handle. This was my favorite of the dishes.

Here's Mango Sticky Rice. I don't think I would have ever eaten this on my own but since the group wanted to share a dessert, this was the selection. Oh man, sticky rice is pretty tasty with the condensed milk on it. The mango fruit was just ripe so it was still firm and good to nibble on. Maybe I'll give it a try at other places next time!

It's a cute comfortable place to visit and the company was good so I had a pleasant time. The girls really loved dining here since there are very few good Thai restaurants in the area. Even though I didn't like everything, there are plenty of other items to explore on the menu for a second visit.

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Bangkok Bay
731 S Hwy 101 #1B
Solana Beach CA 92075
(858) 792-2427

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Comments

J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats's picture
Submitted by J.S. @ Sun Dieg... (not verified) on Thu, 06/12/2014 - 11:29am

Love panang curry, papaya salad, tom yum soup and mango sticky rice. You literally ordered everything I normally order when I eat Thai food ! If you want to try the mango and sticky rice again my favorite is from Saranya Thai, they are not a restaurant but have a booth at most farmer's markets in SD (Hillcrest and Little Italy for sure). Their mango sticky rice is perfect and I always ask for extra coconut condensed milk sauce and they are happy to oblige :)

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Thu, 06/12/2014 - 2:17pm

I haven't been to a farmer's market in a long time. Next time I want to go, I'll check out the times for the ones you mentioned. I definitely want to try more mango sticky rice! It was unexpectedly delicious! You should make your own version on your site!
 

Faye's picture
Submitted by Faye (not verified) on Thu, 06/12/2014 - 6:14pm

Book club?! Oh what book are you guys currently reading? Any good ones lately?

The tofu crinkles are amazing. I don't know why that was the first thing I noticed in that soup. I've never been a fan of those mushrooms but I think it's b/c I saw them from the can (which weirded me out when I was younger).

I cannot remember the last time I had anyone order the Pad See Ew. I don't usually splurge (carb wise) on noodles but these fatter noodles make me happy.

Did this place give you option on how spicy you wanted each dish? Like scale of 1-10. Did you guys order the dishes medium so that everyone could try a bit of everything?

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Fri, 06/13/2014 - 12:57pm

For that meeting, we discussed MrPenumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore which includes visits to google headquarters, and subsequently reminded me of The Internship (with Owen Wilson). I seriously want to check it out one day to see if it's really like that! Anyway, every month is a different book, picked by one of my friends. It's a good reason for getting together and reading a book you may not have chosen otherwise!

Yea I dig the tofu crinkles! Oh straw mushrooms! I forgot what they were called until now! The soup components are always different between restaurants so I'm always curious what will show up and how much broth to solid ingredient ratio it will be! My favorite Thai dish is pad see ew so I compare this dish between restaurants. Bangkok Thai has spice levels but we asked for mild on this visit.

Mary's picture
Submitted by Mary (not verified) on Tue, 06/17/2014 - 9:59am

Mmm, I love pad see ew and those thicker, wide noodles. I haven't really tried Thai curry before, I'm usually ordering noodles of some kind! I need to put that on my "to try" list to at least check it out. The sticky rice looks so plain but awesome that it tasted really good - the mango looks so fresh!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Tue, 06/17/2014 - 1:14pm

What!? Never tried Thai curry? I'd be happy to treat you to lunch or something just so you can try it. Bring your minion too! Otherwise, I am a big fan of the noodle dishes as well. My personal pad see ew quest (finding the best) is ongoing and I've got a couple of draft posts in the works and many more places to try!

Mary's picture
Submitted by Mary (not verified) on Tue, 06/24/2014 - 9:34am

Man, I just saw your comment haha! Where is your favorite place for Thai curry? Lunchtime antics sound like a plan to me!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:04am

Hehe, who can turn down free food?! I actually don't have a favorite place for curry yet but I did keep sneaking  bites of it at Thai Time III earlier this month. Sab E Lee has tasty food overall so I'm down for that place, otherwise there are several Convoy places if it isn't too far for you. I'll email you to make plans for a July meal somewhere.

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