Friday, May 13th, 2011
We are a county in love with Thai food. There now four in the heart of downtown, more than 20 within Santa Rosa city limits, and another 15 or so (by my quick count) in surrounding ‘burbs.
That’s a lot of green curry and Pad Thai.
Despite the already crowded market, Thai Time in downtown Santa Rosa recently opened its doors to a peanut-sauce craving public. Located in the former Golden Dragon location, the space has been transformed — bright natural light coming in the front windows, blazing red walls, crisp tablecloths and new service ware — into a more welcoming eat-in and takeout space.
Having already tested the restaurant waters in Cloverdale, the family-run restaurant has all the major bases covered. Pad Thai, satay with peanut sauce, Drunken Noodles, papaya salad, Thai iced tea, Tom-yum soup and curries are all on the menu. Lunch specials run thrifty $8 and include rice and a salad.
In addition, the restaurant has a number of higher end “Chef’s Creations” for dinner including roasted duck curry ($16), sole with tamarind sauce, Filet mignon ($20), Lamb Kabobs and the gigglishly named Ole’s Fruity Seafood ($22) which includes prawns, scallops and crab with mango, lychee, pineapple and seasonal veggies in a a pumpkin curry sauce. It’s a tasty, if odd treat, mixing seafood with Asian fruits.
Get this: Green curry is a knock-out, along with the Santa Rosa Parade appetizer ($16) that’s a filling plate with 14 mostly fried bites of shrimp, chicken, wontons, spring rolls and satay. The Tweety Basket ($7) has crispy egg noodles with sweet-sour sauce, shallots, cilantro, carrots, mint and nuts. Fortune bags ($7) are wonton purses filled with ground chicken and sweet potatoes. Peanut noodles are a great pick with rice noodles, peanut sauce and steamed broccoli, along with Cashew Chicken that’s sweet and salty.
Skip this: Pad thai, a benchmark for any Thai eatery, missed. Done right, its all about the wok hay, which this didn’t have. More breath, less sauce.
Service is fawning and friendly as owners and staff work to build up a loyal clientele.
Thai Time Asian Bistro, 402 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa, 707-526-7777. Open daily for dinner from 5pm. Lunch Monday through Saturday, 11:30 to 3pm.thaitimeasianbistro.com