This place is phenomenal. I love everything about it. For those naysayers.. Good, that means I will always be able to get a table there.
This is by far my favorite thai place in Tucson. Yes, the service is not the best, the restaurant is often closed on random days and it's a little run down but the food is well worth it. Also, the lunch buffet is great and inexpensive.
Awful food. Seriously bad. The waitress I had had some big towel on her head, smelled like cabbage, and couldn't understand a thing I said. Padd Thai is a signature dish and any halfway decent Thai place should be able to pull it off. It was gross. We complained and someone who claimed to be the owner came over. Started telling us that it was a recipe from her grandmother. Who cares lady, it's BAD!!
Char's - Sorry I strayed. Never again!!!
Terrible, terrible food. Very poor service. Filthy environ. Still shudder when I think back on it.
This place is awesome!!! Don't know what you guys are talking about
Some dishes are a bit oily and they certainly don't use the best cuts of chicken or pork. You'll come across a little gristle here and there. Even so, this place offers some real tasty dishes. The curry is very good as are a few other items. Pleasant servers. Prices are very competitive too. With its few minor faults, this place remains one of the better Thai restaurants in town.
In response to CaliMan's post that "Los Angles and Portland blow Tucson out of the water food-wise," first I'd just like to say that it's called 'LA' and it's spelled out, L-O-S A-N-G-E-L-E-S. While I agree that Tucson is no Asian food mecca by any stretch of the imagination, and that it is neither as cosmopolitan or West-coast hip as Portland, I think CaliMan is missing the most important detail here: nobody in Tucson cares about LA or Portland. What we have here is ours, and ours alone. So in terms of regionalism and localism, Tucson's Sonoran-inspired cuisine kicks LA and Portland right in their huevos. And we are grateful to have at least one Asian restaurant like Bai Thong that tries hard to make their dishes traditional. Rustic, traditional, and local cuisine is what Tucson is made of, and so, CaliMan, judging by your comments, I'd say that you've missed this aspect of Tucson culture entirely. Maybe you should just move back to 'Los Angles' and tell them that your taste buds dried out in the heat.
Regarding the individual who quoted another commenter, "how can you trust the opinions of someone who says "there are very few good places to eat in Tucson"? I don't know? Maybe it's because he or she is on the money. No disrespect but my wife and I agree that this place, as with so many other Tucson eateries, was only so so. Over all, Los Angles and Portland blow Tucson out of the water food-wise.
Went to Karuna's with my friends. The whole dinner experience was a disaster!!!! First, So hard to find the restaurant as the signage was not lited up!!! Then the lady serving us didn't even give a damn while taking our order. She was doing a half F*** Job, looking back while we were making an order. SOOOOOO RUDE. Then she just grab the menu and walked off, didnt even bother whether we are done with the order!!!! Adding more, she served us hot water with so much of white particles in the cup of water, wen questioned, she said, its from the same pot! What an excuse!!!! Then came our order... She just left them on the table and didnt bother giving the food to the respective person whom have ordered the dish!!! Damn POOR service!!!! To end our disastrous day at karuna, there came the bill which didnt match any of the price listed in the menu. When questioned, she mentioned that the menu given to us was not updated!!!! They got no $$$$ to change the menu and handed us a pamphlet menu to tally against the bill... The waitress got agitated when we questioned abt the bill.... Then the teenage gal behind the counter answered us very rudely... What the HELL with them serving customer in such a manner!! We eat for $40 but the bill came up to $68!!!! Robbery!!!!!! Service tax 20% becoz group of SIX, In fact it was four adult and two kids less than 4 Years Old!!! What a way to pay for such a terrible service!!!! So to all reading this review, The FOOD & SERVICE Sucks big time!!!! You can get better service and food elsewhere! Moreover the place is dirty too, more like a round down place......
Decent service but the food was not as good as we expected. We were disappointed with the rather low quality meats used in their dishes - Fatty dark chicken meat, and gristle-ladened beef. Our pre meal soups were just OK. To be honest, the curry was decent but the use of low grade meats are why we won't be back. We have been to Char and were not very impressed either.
If you want true Thai food this is the place to go in Tucson. Accurate spice levels, compared to the tame Thai food served elsewhere. Pad Thai, Pak Prik, Pad Kow all top notch.
I agree with Arthur and Reuven, above; this is a very good Thai restaurant with some excellent dishes. My introduction to Thai food was in Thailand in the 1970's. It was "instant affinity". After that, I frequently sought out Thai places when visiting or living in major cities in the US and Europe, which often provided fine culinary surprises. In Tucson, however, I've been disappointed (including at the other restaurants mentioned in reviews here), despite this city's many other good ethnic (and other) restaurants, so I'm especially happy to report on our superb dinner tonight (November 5th, 2010) at Bai Thong. We odered the gai satay and papaya salad appetizers, Pad Thai and a fish curry. Each was delicious. The peanut sauce was thick and rich and the chicken well-grilled and tender. The papaya salad blended spicy and tart flavors expertly. The fish curry was subtly spiced with kaffir lime leaves and enough anise to round out the peppery coconut sauce without dominating the mix. And the Pad Thai was well blended and just tart enough to bring up the taste of each ingredient. Thai food can be heavy; this wasn’t. The pricing was reasonable, and our service tonight was quick, efficient, attentive, dignified and pleasant, including a lovely smile. The decor (if you radically shrink the space) is actually not unlike many restaurants in Asia (which doesn't tend to the highly atmospheric except for tourists and theater). And the music was thankfully quiet. I personally enjoyed the touch of Buddhist homespun philosophy and scenic photos under the table glass. All in all, Bai Thong treated us to rich, complex and luscious flavors and textures and to an enjoyable evening of great Thai food.
My daughter and I ate here for lunch. The service was excellent- prompt and polite. The food left us puzzled- we appreciate Thai food for the rich medley of spicy flavors, but of the meals we were served, the only flavor that stood out was garlic. It wasn't terrible- but odd.
We've enjoyed Char's and Mina's much more.
Great fast lunch...lunch menu is inexpensive and delicious...the Thai ice coffee is a pick me up in the middle of the day. Lunch includes a lightly flavored chicken-based broth with some celery in it, then some rice, some crispy eggroll...the Basil Chicken is delicious and I always use their condiments, chilis in vinegar and spicy chili sauce to make my own, of course...recommended for a quick lunch..
Great atmosphere, worst Thai food in Tucson. Everything at Bangkok cafe tastes watered down. It's almost like they do Thai food for Gringo's. Alas, for some strange reason this place is always packed while the authentic Thai restaurants namely Bai Thong and Char Thai do not seem to do as well. Perhaps people want watered down Thai food, but I know I sure don't!!
I am confident they have the most authentic thai food in town. Unfortunately this place all ways seems empty whenever I visit. This place makes the food at Bangkok cafe seem watered down and tasteless (which it truly is). The only place I think that can compare is Char Thai, but I have begun to prefer Bai Thong's soups (I recommend the Tom Kha Gai), curries (Try the red curry with shrimp) and even their noodle dishes. I would declare Bai Thong the most authentic Thai restaurant in town although the ambiance is not quite there.
While my buddy said his dish was OK, I wasn't very impressed with my food at all. Also. They don't have rolls that are plain wrapped. They only serve the fried Chinese style egg rolls. By no means the worst Thai in town, but far from the best.
It's almost real Thai food. My favorite is the pork panang. Their food is the best in town according to my buddy (married to a Thai woman) who lived in that country for over a year.
How can you trust the opinions of someone who says "there are very few good places to eat in Tucson"? I can name dozens off the top of my head, and I would include Bai Thong among them. As an immigrant from the Bay Area, my standards for Thai food are pretty high, and Bai Thong is the only Thai place here I can abide (although I've never tried Thai China Siam on Oracle). Bai Thong isn't spectacularly good but I'm always happy with what I get--e.g. the shrimp with pineapple (somewhere around #6 on the entrees), the smoked/dried beef appetizer (whatever it's called)--and the Thai tea ice cream is great.
This is one of my favorite Tucson restaurants. The food is great and consistent. The curries are excellent. The service is always friendly even when it's really busy. The atmosphere is nice too. I would definitely recommend this restaurant and take guests here when they visit.
Tucson Weekly |
3280 E. Hemisphere Loop, Suite 180, Tucson AZ 85706 |
P.O. Box 27087, Tucson AZ 85726-7087 |
(520) 294-1200 |
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