My first salad for the blog was at the randomly selected Little Buddha Thai Bistro. This Thai restaurant is located on Mather Field Rd at Rockingham Dr, right near where International merges into Mather Field. I was the first customer at 11:15 so most of my visit was very quiet. The dining room is medium sized with a division separating about 1/3 of it. I didn’t get a look on that side. The service was quick and friendly.
They have two salads to choose from:
- Yam Nuea (Grilled beef with roasted Thai chili served on a bed of lettuce with a mint dressing.) [$8.95]
- Yum Mamuang (Mango Salad) (Fresh mango with grilled prawns, onions, cilantro in spicy lime dressing with toasted cashew nuts.) [$8.95]
I went with the mango salad. I was asked how spicy I wanted it. I was aware of the spicy lime dressing but I did not think it was going to be the same situation as a normal Thai dish where you specify what level you want. I decided on medium and ordered a Thai tea [$2.50] and water to drink. Those came out within a couple minutes. The tea was OK. The flavor was there but it seemed a little thinner than most.
The salad arrived after a couple more minutes and was very nice looking. In addition to the mango, cashews and prawns, there were tomato and cucumber slices, shaved curly carrots and I think the red shavings may have been beets (?). They weren’t really distinct in flavor, especially against the rest of the salad, so they were more decoration than anything. The greens seemed to be a mix of different lettuce and some spinach. Everything was pretty fresh and the lettuce was nice and crisp. The mango was freaking perfectly ripe and absolutely delicious. I wish there had been more, but there was already enough for a piece per bite. The prawns, about 6 of them, were decent. Nothing special though. The dressing was unlike anything I’ve had before. It was tangy and had a nice lime flavor, not too strong but present throughout. The heat was very subtle at first. I detected just a tiny hint of it at the very end of my first bite and was underwhelmed. I didn’t think much of it for a while, until about halfway through when I realized that it had snuck up on me. My mouth was tingling all the way back to work. I might recommend mild next time. Spicy + salad is a weird combination, but it was pretty tasty.