Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

A cozy, out-of-the-way spot in the middle of North Park

Bangkok Spices Thai relocation a good move for old standby

This longtime local Thai restaurant has a new North Park home.
This longtime local Thai restaurant has a new North Park home.

The name seemed familiar, but when I walked past Bangkok Spices shortly after it opened on 30th Street, I couldn't quite place it. Eventually I realized I'd been to a restaurant of the same name a mile north, on El Cajon Boulevard. Sure enough, Bangkok Spices moved out of that location a little while back when the lease expired (now it's a pho joint). A second Bangkok Spices also recently closed in Kearney Mesa. Now the reliable Thai spot does business in a converted Craftsman home midway between Upas and University.

Place

Bangkok Spices Thai Restaurant

3627 30th Street, San Diego

I'd call it a good move. Aside from the Paesano Italian family restaurant that's held the same spot for nearly 50 years, this section of 30th has been an oddly dormant stretch of North Park's restaurant row. But lately I've seen it start to come alive with new businesses. Nothing as flashy as you'll find a couple blocks north or south, but there's decent, affordable food for neighborhood residents to enjoy when diners from other parts of town gobble up the parking and tables around local hot spots.

Thai décor looking good in a Craftsman-style home.

While Thai Buddha statues and other southeast Asian décor aren’t the first things you'd associate with San Diego's early 20th-century Craftsman style, the juxtaposition actually works quite nicely here. Without trying to be glamorous, this is a comfortable and appealing space that feels a step up from the old locations.

A large serving of lad na — good for family-style dining.

My lunch felt almost hybrid as well. I picked lad na, a wide noodle dish with carrots and Chinese broccoli smothered in tapioca gravy. I always marvel at this dish because, while the delightfully slippery stir-fried rice noodles read pure Thai, the savory chicken stock gravy would not taste out of place at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Like other entrées on the menu, this dish ranged in price from 8 to 14 dollars depending whether I opted for a veggie, meat, or seafood version. I went with chicken at 10 bucks, and asked for a spice level of 5 (out of 10). All in all, a pretty milquetoast order for a Thai restaurant, and if you're looking for a more adventurous Thai experience, it'd be pretty easy to ramp up the spice, or dig into the restaurant's seafood options, which include grilled salmon, steamed sole, and fried catfish.

But I have no regrets. It tasted great and was just about large enough to serve two modest appetites. Add an appetizer and you've got a winning date night at what feels like a cozy, out of the way spot … in the middle of North Park.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

“Medicine Show” webcast showcases Mrs. Henry’s puppeteering

Friends from Earthless, The Blank Tapes, Howlin Rain, Warish, and others join in the fun
Next Article

Pandemic dating smalltalk

Stop talking about current events to the extent they concern public health in any way shape or form whatsoever
This longtime local Thai restaurant has a new North Park home.
This longtime local Thai restaurant has a new North Park home.

The name seemed familiar, but when I walked past Bangkok Spices shortly after it opened on 30th Street, I couldn't quite place it. Eventually I realized I'd been to a restaurant of the same name a mile north, on El Cajon Boulevard. Sure enough, Bangkok Spices moved out of that location a little while back when the lease expired (now it's a pho joint). A second Bangkok Spices also recently closed in Kearney Mesa. Now the reliable Thai spot does business in a converted Craftsman home midway between Upas and University.

Place

Bangkok Spices Thai Restaurant

3627 30th Street, San Diego

I'd call it a good move. Aside from the Paesano Italian family restaurant that's held the same spot for nearly 50 years, this section of 30th has been an oddly dormant stretch of North Park's restaurant row. But lately I've seen it start to come alive with new businesses. Nothing as flashy as you'll find a couple blocks north or south, but there's decent, affordable food for neighborhood residents to enjoy when diners from other parts of town gobble up the parking and tables around local hot spots.

Thai décor looking good in a Craftsman-style home.

While Thai Buddha statues and other southeast Asian décor aren’t the first things you'd associate with San Diego's early 20th-century Craftsman style, the juxtaposition actually works quite nicely here. Without trying to be glamorous, this is a comfortable and appealing space that feels a step up from the old locations.

A large serving of lad na — good for family-style dining.

My lunch felt almost hybrid as well. I picked lad na, a wide noodle dish with carrots and Chinese broccoli smothered in tapioca gravy. I always marvel at this dish because, while the delightfully slippery stir-fried rice noodles read pure Thai, the savory chicken stock gravy would not taste out of place at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Like other entrées on the menu, this dish ranged in price from 8 to 14 dollars depending whether I opted for a veggie, meat, or seafood version. I went with chicken at 10 bucks, and asked for a spice level of 5 (out of 10). All in all, a pretty milquetoast order for a Thai restaurant, and if you're looking for a more adventurous Thai experience, it'd be pretty easy to ramp up the spice, or dig into the restaurant's seafood options, which include grilled salmon, steamed sole, and fried catfish.

But I have no regrets. It tasted great and was just about large enough to serve two modest appetites. Add an appetizer and you've got a winning date night at what feels like a cozy, out of the way spot … in the middle of North Park.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Bounce and Twerk: common moves for Megan Thee Stallion and Danyelle “Sweet Dee” Solana

“I use Megan’s music when teaching my classes.”
Next Article

No longer a David, Stone Brewing recast as a Goliath

The foe of big beer tangles with small breweries over trademarks, including a local IPA
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close