As promised, below is the rundown of my dining “experience” at Kanlaya last night. In both both the technical and taste categories, I would say there were some significant hitches. First of all, I posted three or four notes to the Twitter feed of my work blog, SCOTUSblog. Considering that site works primarily in Supreme Court reporting, maybe descriptions of the beer service at local Thai restaurants is not exactly germane. Oh well.
On the taste front, I guess there was nothing particularly wrong with Kanlaya. Often I judge restaurants like this by their vegetarian menus. It isn’t that hard to pump out chicken pad thai, or pad see yew, or any number of other meat dishes (of course, really good meat entrees aren’t that easy). But is the vegetarian food anything more than sad bits of fried tofu with veggies and sauce?
Kanlaya has a large veggie menu, which means maybe I just picked the wrong thing: my Pad Prik was tasty, but the beans (which were advertised as “Fresh String Beans”) looked like the frozen cut beans you can get at Giant, and the sauce was watery, and not particularly spicy (for its rating of two peppers on the menu, the highest they gave).
Evidently this is a problem that others have had:
Some like it hot, and diners who do had better make that point clear to the staff. This is a kitchen that pulls its punches if you aren’t insistent; shaved beef with bamboo shoots in a supposedly spicy red curry didn’t sound a single fire alarm.
Everyone else seemed to enjoy their food however, even a friend who had chicken satay, and was alarmed to see two pieces of toasted Wonderbread swimming in the sauce. So maybe I just picked wrong.
The final verdict: the food was fine, and if I had something going on in Chinatown and I was jonesing for a little Thai, I would go back again. But now I really, really, REALLY need to go to Thai X-ing. You can see my Twitter feed, admittedly short because of the tweets sent to the SCOTUSblog feed, after the jump.