“Antique Thai Cuisine”
3373 Rosecrans St.
San Diego, CA 92110
I have frequently had lunch at the “Antique Thai Cuisine” restaurant in the Midway section of San Diego. Their lunch specials start at $5.99 and it is easy to have a satisfying lunch for under $8.00.
This evening I had to take one of my students back to the airport so that she could begin her journey back home to Sao Paulo, and my other student – Felizia – and a friend – Warren – wanted to see her off. Since it was dinner time when we began to return home and Felizia saying she really liked Thai food - and since we were on Rosecrans anyway – my car just automatically drove into the Antique Thai parking lot.
The dinner menu is pretty much the same as the lunch menu, but different prices –and a few items that are only available at dinner. It took a few minutes for all of us to decide what we wanted to eat.
Warren started out with a “Tom Kha” soup – a coconut milk soup with lemon grass, mushroom, galangal, lime leaf and roasted chili paste. The cost was $4.00. He also ordered “Spicy Noodles” with pork, special spicy sauce, egg and bean sprouts. When asked what degree of spiciness he wanted, he said 4 or 5. Mistake!
Felizia ordered the “House Fried Rice” with chicken ($9.99) It was made with fried rice, peas, carrots, cucumbers, onions, scallions, tomato sauce and eggs.
I ordered the yellow curry – ($7.99) with veggies, coconut milk, potatoes and onions. I also ordered brown rice instead of white rice and was charged $1.69 more.
Warren’s soup, although very tasty, was not very hot. It had good flavor, but would have been even better if hotter. He complained that his Spicy Noodle was too spicy, but I tried to tell him that a “4 or 5” on the spicy scale is very hot at a Thai restaurant. He finished his entire plate, but there were little beads of sweat apparent on his forehead.
Felizia said that the House Fried Rice was a bit sweet for her liking. She thought it was because of the scallions, but I suspect it had more to do with the tomato sauce than the scallions. She said one of the reasons she ordered the meal was because of the mention of cucumbers, but when her place was delivered to her there were only two small slices of the vegetable used more as a garnish than as a part of the meal.
The yellow curry was tasty, not too hot, and just right over the brown rice. There was a great deal of the curry left over, and I brought it home for another meal.
The waitstaff were very pleasant and nice. When it came time to boxing up our remaining food they did it for us with smiles on their faces. But … the service left something to be desired.
Warren was served his soup almost right after ordering it. I was served my curry about 5 minutes after Warren finished his soup; Felizia was served her rice 4 minutes after I was served. Warren, on the other hand, waited 9 minutes longer before his meal was served. I do not know if this was because they were short-handed in the kitchen, or if this is a normal situation at dinner time. There were only 4 tables occupied besides ours; there were several take-out orders but the time it took for Warren to be served was abnormally long and really not acceptable.
There are many Thai restaurants in San Diego now. The competition is fierce between any kind of restaurant let alone from one Thai restaurant to another. The experience we had tonight would make me hesitate to go back to this restaurant in the near future. I pay for service as well as for good food. I do not think that the fault was with the wait staff, but I am not sure. After all, Warren’s soup was, at best, lukewarm. Was this caused because the kitchen staff hadn’t warmed the soup, or was it because it wasn’t picked up fast enough by the staff?
The cost of the meal for Felizia and I was $21.24 plus a tip. I left $25. Certainly very reasonable for good tasting food. Warren’s meal came to $14.50 –plus a tip. He did not ask why there was a delay receiving his mean, and none was offered.
Would I return? Probably. But I would make sure that I had a coupon from one of the coupon books that the Antique Thai advertises in and would probably stick to lunch instead of dinner. After all, the food was good. But there are so many other Thai restaurants around. I might try a few of them before returning to this one.