A family birthday dinner brought us back to Jhanthong Banbua. The beautifully decorated interior of this Thai restaurant glistens with gold accents, a shrine to the Buddha, a pristine tropical fish tank, and many artifacts from Thailand adorning every nook and cranny. The wait staff is friendly and service is prompt. We like to linger here for some time talking and taking in the many visuals, aromas, and general ambiance.
We order Thai iced tea all around and some Singha beer.
Appetizer: Curry Rolls – Crispy yellow curry rolls with chicken, vegetables, and Thai herbs served with red chile cucumber salad. A delicious combination of crispy, spicy, and sweet with the raw crunch of cucumber. Just enough to tempt us as an appetizer should.
Soup: Tom Kha – Spicy coconut soup with lime juice and chicken. Just like mother’s milk. Delicious and smooth. A sweet comfort to all. (pictured at top of this post)
Salad: Somtam Thai – shredded green papaya with crushed peanuts and lime dressing. Tart and crunchy. Our son recalls a huge tray of this salad being served to his Navy buddies while visiting Thailand some years ago. A fond memory.
Curry: Gang Keiw Wan – Green chili paste with coconut milk, chicken, and squash. Served over rice. Excellent! I would be happy with this dish anytime. (pictured above)
Entree: Pla Pao Banbua – spicy whole grilled fish with Thai sauce. Tangy, hot, bitter. Only one person could actually eat it. Nice for them. I mistakenly eat a slice of raw jalapeno and am forced to drink copious amounts of ice water to subside the burning sensation in my mouth.
Noodles: Pad Thai – traditional style sauteed rice noodles with Thai seasoning and vegetables. Nutty, sweet, satisfying. I would prefer wider rice noodles in this dish.
We linger talking as the server checks on us several times asking if everything is OK. We just want to stay in this little corner under the Buddha’s gaze where we feel the love of family all around. We sip the rest of our iced tea and reluctantly leave this haven to the world of Mendocino Ave. Hugs to all. Peace.
Some say this is the best Thai food in America. We aren’t expert enough to know, but we are certain this is incredibly good and authentic food. Jhanthong Banbua Menu.
2400 Mendocino Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95403