Thursday, May 3, 2007

Say it isn't so.. (Thai Nakorn, Stanton)

So my wife and I found ourselves in Stanton, after a late night at the office last night. Well, we didn't find ourselves there, we intentionally drove near the length of the 22 freeway from her office to a particular Thai restaurant institution, which had relocated a few miles further from us. A particular institution that I had talked about eating at, two days before it burned down.

Their digs in Stanton are a little bit smaller, a little bit less raucous. Although after 9pm on a Wednesday, the restaurant was still maybe half full. They've got their Thai Nakorn sign up now, and their printed menus list both the former as well as the current addresses. Perhaps they're thinking of reopening there in addition to this location. They're down to one fuzzy CRT TV, which that night was showing the demise of the Lakers 2006-07 season at the hands of the Suns, but in a way that made the score difficult to read (you just know when there's three digits to the Suns' score, and two to the Lakers, that things are not going well). Maybe the dismal Lakers showing unsettled my mood.

But we were there to eat. So we ordered our usual dishes: a Pad Thai, the Green Curry with Chicken, Mint Leaf Chicken (which is actually Basil Chicken?), and a new one: the spicy clams. A lot of food for two, but we've been waiting a long while!

Now, I think maybe I'd blown up its memory in my mind to mythical proportions. I recall the pad thai was not quite at the level of Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas, missing somewhat the tamarind taste that sets that dish apart. But this rendition actually failed even to evoke the memory of the former Thai Nakorn Pad Thai in my mind. I was kind of shocked back into a reality that wasn't what I had been building up to.

The mint leaf chicken and the green curry were also unsubtly different. Different enough that it was almost like eating them at a new restaurant. I hope this is simply adjusting to being back in business, but it almost tastes like the chefs have changed. Maybe they were just off that night. Really, the only standout dish was the spicy clams, which my wife noted as a dish she wasn't able to compare with the prior Nakorn equivalent. I think the sticky rice and mangos were alright too, but I was too stuffed to try them.

Okay, so this sounds mostly like a downer review: but even this Thai Nakorn is still among the better Thai places I've ever eaten at. And it's nice to have them back. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt, revisit in a month or so. And for the rest of you, don't go expecting Thai food on a pedestal. Not yet.

Thai Nakorn
11951 Beach Blvd.
Stanton, CA 90680

10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays,
10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.

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Comments on "Say it isn't so.. (Thai Nakorn, Stanton)"

Blogger Chubbypanda said ... (May 3, 2007 at 11:54 PM) : 

Huh. I imagine the staff is still getting used to the new kitchen. I'm going to give them another month to get back in the swing of things before giving the new location a try.

Blogger Peter said ... (May 7, 2007 at 11:03 AM) : 

This is my first time eating here and I've heard great reviews. Well, I live about 1/2 mile from the Stanton location, so I said, why not?
Yesterday, I ordered my usual Thai fare: Beef Panang, 1/2 order BBQ chicken, and Padseeewe. All was really good, espeically the Beef Panang, which they give you big chunks of beef, not like the strips you get a the fufu places.
All the chefs have already moved to this Stanton location according to one of the hostess. So I think maybe it was just a bad day when JH arrived. I will be back for more!

Blogger Bill said ... (May 8, 2007 at 2:24 PM) : 

Swung by on Sunday.
Still like I remembered it.

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (June 6, 2007 at 8:11 AM) : 

have you been to Jasmine Thai? I wonder how this place compares, since Jasmine Thai is one of my favorite Thai restaurants in OC.

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