Dinner . . .

Dinner . . .

In an effort to expand my horizons a little bit, I am going to try something new. I’m going to start writing reviews of books, movies, restaurants, and so on. I hope this will be a good exercise for me. I guess we’ll see. Here goes nothing!

Micah and I went out to Kaneohe Saturday night to celebrate our achievement on the fun run. We wanted to try a Thai restaurant called Chao Phya that the Phillips tried to take us to, but it was always closed–probably because they are opened from 11-2 and 5-9, not conducive to an early dinner. They said it was delicious so we thought it would be worth the trip. And I think it was. That is, if it is really all about the food. The restaurant itself was much smaller than it looked from the outside–fewer than 10 tables–and we certainly felt it. We were constantly in the way of someone while waiting to be seated and again when paying at the register. The smallness, oddly, made it somewhat homey–at least my home, where we frequently stumble all over each other while trying not to get in the way. We were lucky enough to be seated next to the musician, a man with a keyboard and a somewhat random collection of Hawaiian and American ballads sung in a nice elevator-music style. Of course, if we thought the music selection was random, it was nothing compared to the decor. The mixture of Christmas light, ballons, a poorly painted mural of a Hawaiian scene, and randomly scattered Thai artifacts left us kind of confused as to what image they were trying to portray. But maybe their image had nothing to do with the ambiance: their “ego wall” was covered with plaques proclaiming them to be the Best Thai Restaurant on This Side of the Island 2005 among other things. If it weren’t for the plethora of plaques and the Phillips glowing recommendation, I may have been tempted to jump ship. We didn’t really have a chance to think about it, though as the service was fast but not necessarily helpful. Questions about the menu seemed to be unwelcome (or thought to be unnecessary), probably because all of the food is supposed to be wonderful. I wouldn’t have thought so to look at it. When they first brought our food (which they brought separately, and made a mistake on–although the mistake was quickly rectified) I again doubted our decision. They certainly weren’t about color or presentation. It looked really bland, but tasted delicious. Micah got the Pad Thai and I got a green curry with eggplant and shrimp–which, unfortunately, did not come with rice. We ate all of it, but that could have been because the serving sizes were actually reasonable, and in the case of the curry, maybe a little bit smaller than it should have been. When we finished we weren’t asked if we wanted dessert, so we’ll never know if the Island Coconut ice cream (Best New Flavor of 2005) is all it’s cracked up to be.

I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. What it lacked in ambiance, service, and space, it didn’t quite make up for in tastiness. Next time we’re in the mood for Thai, we’ll probably go to Haleiwa Eats.

2 thoughts on “Dinner . . .

  1. I like the idea of you writing reviews. It’s pretty cool. Anyway, I thought that from your description you were pretty generous with the 3 1/2. It sounds like the only redeeming quality of the bad service, bad decor, and croweded space was that the food was good. In my opinion, a hard critic would have given it a thumbs down, but then again, they always seem to have a grudge against what they’re critiqing (sp?). As if they were expecting heaven on earth and were severely disappointed. I like the critiques and I think you should continue it if you want to.

  2. I don’t think I was too generous. If you’ll notice, I didn’t say the service was bad. It was fast. And at times almost rushed. But not bad. And the decor was not necessarily bad, either. Places like Ruby Tuesday’s and Chili’s tend to use kind of an eclectic look-at-what-I-found-in-Grandma’s-attic style as well, only this was an Asia-Pacific birthday theme. Kind of. It made for good dinner conversation, as did the musician. I tried to convey that the smallness was not uncomfortable for Micah and me because we are used to having lots of people in a little space. But I will say that it was kind of surreal. And you are probably correct in saying that a harsher critic would not have found much to enjoy, except for the tasty food. And reasonable prices.

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