siam nara thai cuisine / mira mesa | san diego, ca
Siam Nara Thai Cuisine is a relatively new restaurant tucked into one of the many shopping centers in Mira Mesa – it’s right next to the Rite Aid and the McDonald’s. This place used to be a Dim Sum place … that only served Dim Sum on the weekends. The rest of the time the place seemed pretty empty, which is probably why it closed up shop. I hadn’t noticed the Thai place right away until one day when I went to pick up a prescription at Rite Aid and I thought, “Oh! Look, there’s a new Thai place!”
I stopped in here for lunch a few times to get a feel for the place. The indoor area of the restaurant is very gold and sparkly – giving the place a pretty “upscale” feel. On my first visit it wasn’t too crowded during the lunch hour but I’ve noticed it’s gotten busier and busier.
This is the soup you get when you order one of the lunch specials. I’m not sure what it’s called, but it’s got a clear broth, some veggies (cabbage, green onion, carrots and the like) as well as bits of tofu. Not too bad, but not really my favorite.
The lunch specials are set up so that the pricing is based on your meat: Chicken, Pork or Mock Duck $6.99; Beef $7.99; Shrimp or Calamari $7.99; Scallop $8.99; Veggies$ 4.99; Tofu $5.99. The lunch specials mostly consist of a variety of curries and noodle dishes. I chose to go with the Pad Thai with Shrimp.
On my first visit, I was asked what level of spiciness I wanted, but subsequent visits I was not asked any more. If you want a certain level, it seems you must ask for it, otherwise you get it plain. I got level 3 (out of 10) once and decided that was a little too much for me (I am a weakling) and have hence decided I’m pretty good at a level 2. A tiny bit of spice is about what my palate can handle.
The lunch special comes with a little salad and an egg roll with a sweet and sour sauce. The dressing on the salad is sort of an orange-ginger dressing that I really liked. The tiny egg roll was also really good – freshly made, super crunchy and not just all weird filler vegetables (ie it’s not just full of cabbage YAY). I also love the sweet and sour sauce, which is not at all like the kind they serve in Chinese restaurants. This one was a more subtle sweetness and was a clear orange color.
The pad thai itself was really good – a good amount of shrimp, noodles, eggs, veggies (mostly bean sprouts) and peanuts. It was cooked well, very hot when served, and the noodles had a good overall texture and flavor. I loved it so much I ordered it twice in a row!
This is my iced tea. I just took a photo of it because I dug how they cut up the lemon.
On another visit, I decided to branch out and try something else. One thing on the menu that sounded really good to me were these Boat Noodles ($8.99). The description: “Originated from Central Thailand, this dish has been prepared on small boats along the canals and rivers of Bangkok. Today many of the Bangkok canals have turned into streets, but the boats still survive. Your choice of sliced flat-iron steak or pork loin with rice noodles, bean sprouts, in a Thai traditional broth infused with exotic spice and herbs.”
I got it with steak. The soup broth is quite richly flavored – it sort of reminded me of Pho, but with a darker, richer broth. It also comes with some of the meatballs, chicharróns, veggies and noodles. I really liked the flavors mixed together, though I didn’t really dig the meatballs (they had kind of a weird texture that I wasn’t digging). The combination of the hot broth, noodles and bits of steak though were really good. Full of win!
If you’re in the area and feeling like some Thai food, this is a good place to start!
Siam Nara Thai Cuisine
8993 Mira Mesa Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92126-2738