#56: Sala Thai

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Today it was back to Thai food for the first time since #1.  This is Sala Thai at White Rock and Zinfandel.  I went here a couple times years ago and wasn’t too impressed.  I found the curry to be bland and the rice noodles undercooked.  Those are two of my favorite things to order so I never returned.

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I love how most Thai restaurants recreate, on some level or another, temple architecture inside the dining rooms.  This one is by far the grandest.  With the crazy high ceilings they really were able to make the biggest one I’ve seen.  It’s actually a pretty nice restaurant.  The dining room is medium-large and starts in the front, where it’s bright and sunny from big windows, and goes deep into the back, where it gets darker and darker away from the natural light.  When I walked in just after 11 I was the 2nd customer and was told to pick wherever I wanted to sit.  I chose one of the booths up front.  As I sat down the server asked me what he could get me to drink.  I ordered a water and a Thai tea [$2.25].  He got both out to me within a couple minutes.

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I ordered the Thai Salad (A mixture of lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and a hard boiled egg with our homemade peanut dressing)[$8.50].  Along with my tea I was given a small plate with what was essentially a tiny appetizer-like salad.  The dressing was fairly sweet.  Neat little starter.  My tea was just right.  Nice and cold with a decent amount of ice and strong in flavor.

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My salad took about 10 minutes to prepare and bring out.  I was intrigued by the dressing, which seemed to be oily, or separated somewhat.  I love peanut sauce/dressing, but I’ve never seen it look quite like this before.  After taking a few snaps I went to move it off the place and quickly realized it was hot!  I pulled my hand away from it in a little bit of surprise, then tested it carefully to see just how hot it was.  Definitely between warm and hot, but not quite so much that I couldn’t pick it up.  This was really strange.  I have absolutely never come across this before.  Is it normal?  Having been to Thailand a couple times and eaten at countless Thai restaurants here I think I would have at least heard of it, but apparently not.  Maybe its a regional thing?

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Anyway, it smelled delicious so I went ahead and spooned some all over the salad.  The salad itself wasn’t particularly large but it was nice and fresh all around.  The tomatoes looked nice and juicy so I ended up eating those first, thinking that maybe they would be better by themselves.  On the last slice I finally got a bit of the dressing and wow, it was awesome.  This was some of the best I’ve ever tasted.  It was really odd being heated, that’s for sure, but it was so rich and flavorful.  I ended up spooning even more on the salad before I dug in.  It is not the most visually appetizing things once you get it on there and mixed up, but this was such a delicious salad with it slathered over every bite that I didn’t care one bit what it looked like.

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It’s really interesting to me that on this mission I’ve visited places that I like and was really disappointed in their salad offerings, while places I had decided never to return to, but did anyway for the blog, end up having great salads.  I guess I can come back here now, if only for the this.  Side note, the website lacks descriptions on the menu page, so I linked to a scanned take out menu below.

Website: http://www.salathairanchocordova.com

(Scanned) Menu: Click Here

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