Celadon is a Thai restaurant “voted best in San Diego” and can be found in Hillcrest on University Avenue. The ambience is awesome but a little bit crowded, actually a whole lot crowded! I could barely move my chair back without getting clobbered by some lady sitting behind me or a waiter delivering food. The service was okay but nothing spectacular. There was nice mood lighting, perfect date place. Each table had a flickering candle and there were nice tapestries and decorations (i.e. it was a Thai restaurant). There are street-facing windows that offer a romantic view of University Avenue (I’m not sure why it’s romantic, it just is!).
We had a party of six — Me, Dennis, Lynn, Diane, Michael, Nguyen. We ordered five dishes and dabbled family style (which is the best way to do it). The waiters were for the most part friendly and there were enough so that you weren’t kept waiting very long. Except the water service! I finished my drink before the meals came and it was not refilled until almost the end! Water refill is a direct indication of how attentive waiters are, in my opinon. Okay, I can’t remember anymore…on to the food!
The Pineapple Fried Rice did not disappoint. Unfortunately, it was the only one (in my opinion) that didn’t. It was served in a real shelled out pineapple and had chunks of delicious pineapple, shrimp, chicken (or so Dennis thinks) and all the other good stuff you find in fried rice. There was also a little side bowl for the overflow that didn’t fit in the pineapple shell. The pineapple in it blended well with the other ingredients and didn’t stick out too much the way it does on those Hawaiin pizzas.
The Drunken Noodle (other restaurants call it Pad Kee Mow) with beef was not very good at all. I am used to a more basil flavoring. I thought the meat tasted bad but I don’t usually eat beef so I just may not have been accustomed to the flavor. Lynn didn’t like this dish either. It looked very red but didn’t taste spicy at all! I did not like it. (But I think Nguyen really did — he ordered it).
The Lad Nar had very thick gravy with shrimp. My first bite was delicious, then it went all downhill. In the bad way. The gravy had a very strong white pepper taste. It seemed doused with it. The shrimp was fresh though, and yummy (tail and all). The noodles were too fat! They didn’t even taste like noodles, more like sheets of noodle flour.
The Pad Thai was okay. But that’s just about it. Very boring. Dennis says the flavor was flat and I wholeheartedly agree. He thinks that it was lacking spice to it. I feel that it could have been less sweet and, again, I couldn’t taste any basil or mint or any other herb.
The Red Curry tasted the most authentic, but I don’t like red curry (so this may be biased). It had the right amount of everything and tasted like it would taste if it were home-cooked but there was nothing spectacular at all about it. The complimentary dessert was horrible! Dennis says that it is normally not so. It was horrendously salty, and is definitely not meant to be that way. All in all, the food was mediocre to bad, except for the pineapple fried rice which was a little bit better than mediocre.
3671 5th Ave
San Diego CA 92103