Jeff Smith 2 p.m., Dec. 18
Koon Thai Kitchen
Koon Thai Kitchen is a fairly recent addition to the Convoy Street scene, taking over the space vacated by the old Curry House.
The sleek new look is contemporary and inviting. Blond wood tables play warmly off the dark walls and deep plummy accents.
We started off with a couple of the appetizers, Gai Tod (Fried Chicken Wings, $3.95) and Poo Jah (Thai Crab Cakes, $9).
The Gai Tod was just okay. The wings were suitably crispy and non-greasy, but they needed seasoning. A dip in the generic sweet chili sauce helped a little. Still, they were forgettable.
Much better was the Poo Jah, blue crab meat mixed with breadcrumbs, garlic and pepper, formed into a cake. It’s steamed, then dipped in egg and fried golden brown. It was drizzled with siracha and a mayo-lime dressing, and served on a bed of spring mix. There was plenty of crab, just enough spice to make it interesting, the crunchy coating gave way to the steaming, soft middles. The tangy lime-mayo added a pleasingly tart contrast; the mixed greens provided texture and freshness.
My entrée was Ka Na Moo Krob ($9). Beautifully green Chinese broccoli and crispy pork, lightly coated in a savory sauce, a liberal sprinkling of red pepper flakes and fried garlic on top. The broccoli had been carefully cut so that the larger stems were tender without overcooking the more delicate florets. Delicious.
John also chose a pork dish, Ka Pao Moo Krob ($9). Stir-fried crispy pork, onions, red and green bell peppers, green beans, fresh chili, garlic and basil leaves in a gingery, flavorful sauce. Again, the vegetables were great, crunchy but tender. The basil added a fresh, bright note. I kept sneaking bites.
The one sour note was the steamed rice. Mine was wet and mushy to the point of being inedible. John’s was a little better; still, you don’t expect something as basic as rice to be off.
Koon Thai Kitchen also has a reasonably priced lunch menu available Monday – Saturday from 11:00 am until 3:30 pm. Soups and appetizers are $1.50 each; entrees run $5.45 to $8.95, and come with rice and a house salad. Beer and wine are available.
3860 Convoy Street
San Diego, CA 92111
Lunch 11:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Dinner 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM