Friday, May 8, 2009

Thai Basil - Phoenix location

We are huge fans of Thai Basil in Tempe. Tara loves their Pra-Ram and they make some great Tom Kha Kai. Service on all our visits has been spotty at best. They are also typically very crowded, as well.

Tonight, we decided to try their outpost at Central and Earll, just north of the Thomas/Central intersection. It's somewhat hard to see and find, but it's there. The location is smaller than the original but has the same decorating theme. Upon entering, a waiter immediately greeted us and showed us to a table. Shortly after that, a waitress brought us glasses of ice water and took our drink order. The menu is the same as the other location (we checked prior to visiting) so Tara got her usual chicken Pra-Ram and I got chicken Panang. We both opted for mild spice levels. We an order of chicken satay for an appetizer.

The satay surprised us. In addition to the four grilled, curried kabobs of chicken, peanut sauce, and the usual cucumber salad, there was a small greens salad with what tasted like sesame peanut dressing. Everything on the platter was excellent and we made short work of it.

My Panang came out next. The bowl had bits of chicken, brocolli, carrots, green beans, green and red peppers, zuchini, and crushed peanuts all in a nice peanut curry sauce. A bowl of jasmine rice came with it. The heat level was on the low side of mild, which suits me fine, and I loved the dish. The sweetness of the coconut milk went great with the mild curry heat. Once I finished the veggies and chicken, I poured the remaining sauce over the bowl of rice. Good curry sauce with rice is like dessert for me. No complaints at all.

Tara's Pra-Ram had a pile of chicken and brocolli covered with a peanut sauce. She also got a bowl of jasmine rice on the side. She loved hers as well. I tried a bite and it was very good, but I enjoyed the extra kick the curry gave the peanut flavor in my curry better.

Service was excellent as well. Water was refilled in before I the glass got below 3/4 full. The waitress checked to make sure everything was going well. Our visits to the Tempe location always require us to flag down a waitperson for refills.

There were only a few other tables when we were there around 8pm. Similarly timed visits to the Tempe location usually find them nearly full. It was nice not being elbow to elbow with other tables.

All-in-all, we really enjoyed our visit to this location and will come here instead of the Tempe location from now on. Service is better, parking is much easier, and the food is as good or better. Plus it's a closer than the other location as well.


Anonymous said...

While you and Tara were enjoying Thai Basil in Midtown, my family and I were at Thai Basil's sister restaurant, Thai Elephant, on Adams Street Downtown. Our meal was equally impressive, and I was pleased to see Thai Elephant nearly full and turning tables after dark. The owners of these restaurants have taken a gamble on evening dining in Downtown, and I'm glad to seeing it pay off for them.

Afterward, we walked to the new Downtown Civic Space, heard local band What Laura Says play under the Jellyfish while the little one played in the splash park with other kids, and then caught the train home. I couldn't imagine a nicer evening, and I'm glad yours was good too.

Yankee1969 said...

I didn't realize Thai Elephant had extended their hours. I thought they closed around 7pm or so. That's good to know.

Anonymous said...

9 PM now. Fortune favors the bold.