Nok Thai

Dennis and I headed out to lunch with a friend to the shopping plaza off Mira Mesa Blvd and I-15. After deliberation between the two new restaurants, Nok Thai and Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, our friend picked japanese bbq. We headed toward the door, only to find that it wasn't open for lunch on weekdays! We defaulted to the Thai restaurant, which also meant I could continue my thai quest!

As usual, I ordered the Pad See Ew with chicken and decided to go with the heat level of 2 out of 10. The dish was not spicy initially but I began to see a few red pepper flakes pop up as I continued eating. Thus, a little bit of heat was slowly building, but not anything I couldn't handle. The pad see ew here had a more broth-like sauce ie very light not thick. The chicken bits were a bit overcooked and lacked juiciness. I'm going to assume it's breast meat or else they really messed up. I also noticed that the broccoli was overcooked with the top portion way too wilty! It also had cabbage with nice char marks but the leaves were cut too big, as I was chewing on just cabbage for some bites! All parts considered, this was NOT the pad see ew for me.

Dennis was initally undecided so I prodded him to go for noodles like the rest of us. He ordered the Pad Thai with tofu at level 4 spicy. The spiciness scale seemed to be inconsistant here because it seemed less spicy than my level 2 dish. Maybe the sweet and salty overpowered the spicy aspect because nowhere did I taste a hint of chili. We did like the noodles though since they were thin and marinated. There were also few bean sprouts in this dish which totally worked in my favor. The tofu was fried but not much else was done to them.

Our friend got the Drunken Noodles with chicken, also level 2 and it was similar to mine from my one bite. It wasn't particularly exciting though. Served with each of our lunches were some crispy dumplings which I thought were tasty for vegetarian. The thin skin had the little bubbles from being fried and reminded me of rice paper eggrolls. The salad had a pleasantly light vinagrette taste so none of the peanut sauce dressing that some other places have. I prefer this way best. The soup tasted like it was just broth, with no extra flavor like the sour-type served at most other places. It looks to be a palate cleanser!

Dennis loves trying out new drinks so he ordered the Lemongrass Tea. It was brewed really strong, and he thought the syrup would help. Instead, the syrup wasn't really sweet and actually seemed to water down the drink instead. Also, the drink itself was filled to the brim making it harder to mix much of the syrup in anyway. I guess in the end, he thought it better to eat lemongrass flavor rather than drink it! This drink may not be for everyone...

I do have to say that I totally loved the decor here. It was a very modern clean look and tree branches have always been something I am partial to. So at least the decorations were fantastic! As for the food, the lunch the portions aren't as big as some other places but definitely enought for the meal. Also, Dennis noticed that they don't serve beef here but the online menu showed that they have organic chicken. The lunch prices start at 7.99 for veggie/tofu, 8.99 for chicken/pork and 9.99 for shrimp. And last of all, beware that there is a split fee of $4 so make sure to order your own dish or the bill will surprise you! I would have liked to try the panang curry but not sure if a revisit is in the works. Only time will tell...

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Nok Thai
9842 Hibert St
San Diego CA 92131
(858) 566-6015

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Comments

cathy's picture
Submitted by cathy (not verified) on Tue, 07/08/2014 - 8:52pm

Pictures look great!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Tue, 07/08/2014 - 10:50pm

thanks! dennis got skills!

J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats's picture
Submitted by J.S. @ Sun Dieg... (not verified) on Wed, 07/09/2014 - 7:40am

At least the Pad Thai was decent! We've been looking for a good pad thai spot by where we live and have found so many mediocre ketchup-y versions. Even after going with everyone's recommendation of Amarin Thai we found their beef to be weirdly gray and verging on inedible (the bf always goes with beef pad thai). There's a lot of ok Thai food in SD but not that many really good places!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Wed, 07/09/2014 - 8:24am

I haven't ever thought of them as ketchup-y before! I'll have to rethink about that flavor next time I eat it! I did like Dennis's dish better than mine but the pad thai in Sab E Lee (PQ) is currently my favorite of 3-4 restaurants from this year. I've been sitting on that review because I want to re-taste the pad see ew before posting, plus Dennis doesn't think I should post too many Thai reviews together... gotta space them out! =)

Faye's picture
Submitted by Faye (not verified) on Wed, 07/09/2014 - 4:23pm

I always see this place when I visit the Trader Joes. I've been meaning to visit so your post is pushing me to do that soon. My eating buddies usually don't order noodles when we eat Thai so I'm jealous of all your Thai meals so far. I like how they serve the simply syrup on the side (even though it was watery). The restaurant looks incredibly fresh and pretty!

I would have visited Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ by now if they were open for lunch. Oh well.

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Wed, 07/09/2014 - 5:29pm

You should contact me if you are in the mood for noodles! I'm down for the Thai kind. I'd eventually like to visit Gyu-Kaku for dinner but the rumors of long wait kinda make me iffy. We're usually too hungry to wait much!

Mary's picture
Submitted by Mary (not verified) on Tue, 07/15/2014 - 2:40pm

I've noticed this place when I stop by Trader Joe's as well. I love the inner decor - looks like they spiffed it up a little from the last spot that was there (which was this really pricey seafood restaurant). Looks like they have benches for seating which is kind of a cool idea. The photos are pretty but sounds like they need a little work on their dishes. I also want to try the Japanese BBQ place but haven't yet. I have heard of long lines and high prices so haven't gone yet. Maybe soon.

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