Restaurant Review : Ocean Beach’s Thai Time Bistro

by on December 27, 2018 · 5 comments

in Ocean Beach

Restaurant Review

Thai Time Bistro
1830 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
Ocean Beach, CA 92107
619-223-5000

By Judi Curry

I’ve been eating at the Thai Time Bistro ever since it opened. I know that it has changed hands at least once, and it was also closed for a short time while being remodeled.  More often than not I order take-out from there and have the food delivered.

On this particular weekend, however, my friend Hugh said that he would love to have a hot soup for dinner.  I asked him what he had in mind and he said he would leave it up to me.  I asked him if he liked Pho, and he had no idea what I was talking about. (He is a newcomer from Tucson.)  It was a cold, foggy, wet night and I didn’t want to go to far from home so suggested that we try the Thai Time. He was game.

Of course, when he saw the menu he was absolutely lost.  He had no idea what to order; he wondered if he made the right decision in going along with my suggestion.

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup. All photos by Judi Curry

Just about that time, one of the relatively new owners – Patrick – came by and asked if he could be of help.  His wife Tuka, and his 6 month old son, Kalvin, met us at the door, and Hugh felt very comfortable seeking Patrick’s advice.  He ended up ordering the Thai Chicken Noodle Soup, which included chicken broth, rice noodles – a whole lot of them – chicken breast meat, bean sprouts, green onions and cilantro.  The bowl was enormous.

I ordered the Tom Kha Soup, which was a coconut milk base, mushrooms, onions, tomato, bell peppers, cilantro and lime juice. For an added taste, I also ordered shrimp as part of the soup.  Although my bowl was nowhere as large as the one Hugh ordered, it was filling and adequate. I could not have eaten any more than what was in the bowl!

Because Hugh was not familiar with Thai food, we also ordered a side order of fresh Spring Rolls, that consisted of chilled rice paper stuffed with succulent shrimp, carrots, basil, bean spouts and fresh cabbage.  It was served with a delicious hoisin sauce as well as a peanut sauce.

The order was for four – but we actually had 8 delivered on the plate.

Tom Kha Soup

My order was one of the best Tom Kha’s I have ever had, even without the shrimp.  It was so tasty, that each and every morsel had its own special flavor.  I gave a few of the mushrooms to Hugh to try, although reluctantly, because they were so good. No question about ordering it again.

I could not believe the size of Hugh’s Chicken Soup.  I knew from the on-set that he would not be able to finish it, and he was one of those children that was taught that you “eat everything on your plate.”  And it was so tasty!  Unfortunately I did not see the extra plate of sprouts, onions, mint, etc. until he was almost finished with his meal, and he did not add those ingredients to the soup.  I don’t think it would have made much of a difference, because it was so good to begin with.

Spring roll

In talking to Patrick, I was surprised to hear that he also is a part owner in one of my other favorite restaurants – Hugo’s – as well as other places in San Diego.  He told me that he thought that his wife, a native born from Thailand, probably will be taking over the running of the restaurant shortly.  All of her recipes will be authentic, and although there will not be many changes to what is there now, new items will also be added. I can hardly wait.

Our total bill, which included a sake for me, the two soups and the spring rolls, was $32, including the tip.  Not bad for a cold, foggy night.

[Editordude: Judi reviewed the restaurant back in June 2012 – compare it with today’s review.]

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Stephen Rush December 27, 2018 at 3:07 pm

Thank you, Judy! My wife loves takeout soup, and we didn’t know about this one. I’ll ‘prolly try this tonight.

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Judi Curry judi curry December 27, 2018 at 8:06 pm

Stephen, if you do let me know what she thinks. And…Happy New Year.

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Mercy Baron OB Mercy December 30, 2018 at 9:34 am

Haven’t eaten there in years after several not so great experiences there. I knew they had new owners at some point.

While I should give it another shot, I’m even more wary now. Pho is from Vietnam and spring rolls are Chinese and Vietnamese. I understand if it tasted good to you, then that certainly matters to your palate.

But I prefer more authentic ethnic cuisine even though it’s all Americanized here, even our beloved Mexican food.

Please try almost any dish from Supaannee Thai on Shelter Island, widely considered in SD to be one of the best we have here. For amazing pho and so many more delicious Vietnamese dishes, we are so lucky to have a new place right in Point Loma on Rosecrans called, Banh Mi Hoi An. Many local foodies consider this the best Banh Mi sandwiches over anything in the Convoy district. Everything I’ve had there is so good, that we’ve held two dinner events there that were very successful and sold out!

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Avatar Vern December 31, 2018 at 1:33 pm

I seem to recall a massive MSG flush after last visit to Thai Time several years back. New owners? May be up to try again.

Supaanee is okay for dining. We don’t do the takeout from them anymore – one too many funky dishes. Eat-in mo’ betta. Also, their “hot” is no longer the “hot” they had when they first opened. It’s quite possible the general palate of most local folks is a bit more tepid, so they changed their “heat” schedule a bit to accommodate the general population.

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Avatar Stephen Rush January 5, 2019 at 4:36 pm

Judi, My wife and I really do love the Chicken Noodle Pho. Just ordered it again last night.

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