This Thai restaurant has been the meet-up-with-the-gang spot since my Freshman year of college 4 very distant years ago. My (extremely boisterous and nerdy) group of friends would frequent this place for two reasons. A) It was literally across the street from our dorms – convenient, non? B) Everyone was able to find something to eat here. Even the pickiest of us(*ahem* only chicken and rice, no spice, kind of picky *ahem-cough*) could enjoy a filling and delicious meal. And i guess I should mention that it is reasonably priced, but that’s a given for a college student go-to!
Thai Basil (named after the herb of the sweet name, which is sweeter than normal basil and has a much stronger flavor) features a laid back traditional kitchy asian theme. What I mean by this is, you walk in and immediately notice the many representations of Buddha (including a seductive lounging young Buddha next to a wine cooler), the simplistic and rectangular dark and red decor and the all Asian staff. It also has a back section with low bench-type-booths covered in red pillows.
Now to the food! I’d rate it an average on the Asian food scale. It’s good, nothing special. It’s not even very Thai tasting. Of course there are the peanut dishes, curries and lighter cream sauces, but it tastes like all other Asian food. You know? Not that it’s a bad thing, it just…is. It takes a remarkable restaurant/chef to produce a strong Asian dish while catering to American tastes. In fact, the best Asian food I’ve had has been abroad where the customer is NOT alway right!
(If you are ever in Lyon, France and want some Thai, hit me up. I know JUST the place. I dream of their Pad Thai lunch specials…)
This visit was during their lunch specials, so I was able to try something different from what I normally get. (I always like to think of myself as someone who tries a different dish every time, but I’m coming to realize that I have my few favorites and rarely stray from them. I’m going to work on it for your guys’ sake though!)
I ordered the Pad Thai with beef. Spicy, please! And since it was lunch it came with a small bowl of veggie soup. I’m going to guess that it was leek or cabbage in a clear broth (pork? chicken?) but it was light and refreshing. Perfect for both sustaining us through the wait and prepping our digestive systems for the starch heavy onslaught.