Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Sep 21st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Real Thing

dining_RealThaiHomemade recipes draw raves at Real Thai Kitchen
Hidden behind a Blockbuster store in the Seabright neighborhood, Real Thai Kitchen carefully prepares nearly one hundred dishes from the tropical paradise of Thailand.

The popular weekday lunch buffet ($8.95) included coconut milk soup, rice, salad, Old-fashioned Pad Thai, tempura, and a selection of curries and sautéed dishes with meat and/or vegetables. We ordered from the menu, feeling more like having leftovers than over-eating.

My favorite soup here is Tom Yum, in a cup ($3.95), bowl ($7.95) which serves three or four, or a flaming maw fai donut-shaped pot ($10.95). Strips of white chicken were bathed in a tart and spicy broth seasoned with lemongrass, kaffir leaves and the eucalyptus-like rhizome galangal. Fresh mushrooms and tomato wedges were added before serving.

We dipped hot skewers of Chicken Satay ($7.25) in mild, sweet and savory peanut sauce. A pair of Fresh Spring Rolls ($3.95) was stuffed with thin strands of noodles, organic tofu, and vegetables; their bright colors visible through translucent rice paper wrappers.

The orange sherbet-colored Thai Iced Tea ($1.95), seasoned with star anise and topped with sweetened milk, was refreshingly decadent.

Thai salads are topped with grilled beef or deep-fried catfish with mint, cashews and green apples. I enjoyed the Ground Pork Salad ($9.45) which was loaded onto a large plate. Spicy white meat with slivered bamboo shoots, red onion, cilantro, flaked and whole dried Thai chilies and peanuts was drizzled with tart, spicy lime dressing, and served with sliced hearts of romaine lettuce.

Rather than relying on prepared curry pastes, Real Thai makes theirs from scratch with fresh leaves, and fruit from the kaffir lime tree. The nutty sweetness of brown rice goes exceptionally well with the curries, which are made to order with varying levels of heat. I like my Thai spicy, and this Kitchen doesn't disappoint. Bright Yellow Chicken Curry Breast ($9.45) held chunks of sweet potatoes in a smooth coconut milk sauce.

House specials include Spicy Basil Duck, and juicy marinated and grilled barbecue chicken. For dessert, the coconut ice cream is a treat.


Real Thai Kitchen, 1632 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz, 427-2559. Beer and wine. Serving lunch weekdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturdays at noon. Dinner nightly at 5 p.m. Closed Sundays. Visit menustation.com/realthaikitchen/ ★★★


The last time I tended to tomatoes in my garden, they ripened to a beautiful crimson color, and were absolutely tasteless. This year I'm going to enjoy the same heirloom varieties enjoyed by diners at Manresa, a renowned Los Gatos restaurant (whose chef was just nominated for a Beard Award) which sources its produce from Ben Lomond's Love Apple Farm. The Farm's annual sale of more than a hundred varieties of tomatoes is underway three days a week, and April is the month to transplant them (except in colder mountain regions: wait until May.)

The Farm also provides information on raising healthy and productive plants, offers classes from building the best tomato cage to container vegetable gardening and chicken-keeping, and maintains an incredibly informative website.
Love Apple Farm, 9299 Glen Arbor Road, Ben Lomond. Plant sale Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday through May 30, 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or by appointment. Visit growbetterveggies.com/

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.