April 15, 2013
Ethnic Dining Experience
Since I have been living here in San Luis Obispo I have walked by Thai Palace many times while downtown but I have never gotten the chance to go. This assignment was the perfect opportunity. I have tried Thai food before, back home in Idaho, but have only tried a few of the most generic dishes offered. This time I was eager to try something a little more out of my comfort zone.
As I walked in the restaurant I noted a very distinct smell of strong spices. The inside of the restaurant was painted a deep red and the lighting was low. There were gold and brass decorations scattered around the room. It seemed to me to be a traditional Thai style with somewhat of an American appeal. The menu was very straightforward with plenty of pictures to accompany the description of the dishes. (Mini, take-home version of the menu is included in the back.) There was a section dedicated to appetizers, salads, soups, curries, wok fried dishes, noodles and fried rice and the specials. I was familiar with most of the items on the menu from my past Thai restaurant experiences but a few were new to me. There were plenty dishes that I’m sure may have originated in Thailand but seemed to have been scaled back to appeal to us Americans. The specials they were offering, however, were particularly different. (Photo of the specials menu is included on page 3.) One of the main dish specials was titled Grilled Salmon wrapped in Banana Leave. Although I was very interested I was also a little short on money.
When our server came I ordered what I had researched to be a traditional Thai meal of kaeng phet or Red Curry with chicken. The dish consisted of bamboo shoots, carrots, bell pepper, kabocha squash and Thai basil leaves all in a red curry paste and coconut milk. The waitress informed me that it was the spicier of the curries and offered to bring a spice tray out too, “just in case I wanted a little extra.” Along with...