Bai Tong, located just off of 148th and Bel-Red road, has invested a good deal in interior decorations. The front entrance opens up to a mock replica of the king’s Golden Dragon Boat, pillars are as often as not intricately made up of interlocking inlayed carvings. In general the slight wealth which permeates the inner decor does little to hide mediocre food, nor does it easily disguise mediocre servers.
A painting of the crown prince of Thailand and his wife stares disapprovingly down at guests foolish enough to stop in here. With a front door covered in glowing reviews and newspaper clippings, I determined upon entering to get something a little more creative than the pad Thai, as a challenge my hosts to live up to their reputation. Once again, the professional reviewing business demonstrates that the entire field is likely made up of un-tasting, easily bribable writers.
Meat was tough and tasted leathery and almost like tripe. The peanut sauce might as well have been peanut butter. Vegetables came out half cooked tasting unwashed.
The service was not much better, with a waiter who couldn’t be bothered to tell me that the scoop of peanut butter passing as peanut sauce was an additional three dollar charge, an absolutely absurd amount of money for an unadulterated legume paste. He even had the gall to tell me that their recipe was traditional, adored by an entire country, and that if I didn’t like it I would know where not to go in the future. Indeed, I do now know where not to go.
In a state so linked with all other Pacific Ocean and Indian cultures culinary aficionados can have at the very best of Taiwanese, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and an entire gambit of cultures of rich and colorful foods. What this entails, as with the plethora of European cuisine which floods into the East Coast, is that foodies can easily know both the best and the worst qualities of a cuisine.
There are many places to go for fabulous Thai food. Bai Tong might be conveniently placed for some on the way back home from work, but it is both the most expensive and unpleasant, a surprisingly common pairing, Thai restaurant I have ever been to.