Restaurant Review: Bann Thai

Cameron Yong/HIGHLANDER
Cameron Yong/HIGHLANDER

I’d like to start this review off by saying that I am not generally a fan of most Asian food. When I first moved to California, everyone raved about boba, but I was devastatingly disappointed when I tried it and I honestly still don’t understand the appeal. I’m that person who is never in the mood for Chinese take-out and the long line at Panda Express in the HUB is enough to deter me from ever having eaten there. So I am not an expert on Thai cuisine and I have no idea what “authentic” Thai cuisine is supposed to be. However, for what my novice opinion is worth, I was very impressed by Bann Thai.

The restaurant is a quaint, little place on Brockton Avenue — another hole-in-the-wall place that doesn’t look like much. It appears a bit like a residential home on the outside, and the inside is nothing special — it resembles the typical restaurant layout. I wouldn’t say that this place has great ambiance. But even though the place looks like it is super under the radar, the food here was off the charts.

To start off my dining experience, I ordered the fried wontons, which were stuffed with ground chicken. They were possibly my favorite part of the meal; they were warm, soft, sweet and full of flavor. And they brought eight of them! I am used to only getting a measly three per order from other places, so I was ridiculously excited to have a larger-than-normal amount, and it was more than enough wonton goodness to satisfy me.

For my entree, I ordered the pad see ewe, since it seemed like a divisive dish on Yelp. The dish consisted of stir-fried flat rice noodles with egg, garlic, broccoli, carrots and your choice of meat. It was doused in a sweet, delicious soy sauce and the combination of noodles and veggies was refreshingly delectable. I don’t see why some Yelp-goers condemned the pad see ewe, because I thought it was everything a Thai dish should be. Overall, the food was more than satisfying and I had no disappointments.

The service here was also beyond exceptional. My waitress was impeccably friendly and helpful, and the food came out so fast that I barely had time to sit around bored. Granted, it was not exceptionally busy when I came for lunch, but I was still pleasantly surprised by the quick, quality service. And, more importantly, the prices here were very student-friendly. My entire meal was around $12, and that was with an appetizer, entree and drink. And they certainly didn’t skimp on portion sizes either — I brought home leftovers.

I didn’t think the food here was life-changing or rave-worthy, but it was certainly good, and I would recommend giving this place a go. I have no complaints about Bann Thai, and I had a very pleasant dining experience here. Those of you well-versed in Thai cuisine may strike a different opinion. But for me, it is a good, affordable Thai restaurant and I can safely say that Bann Thai is the way to go.

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