California Thai Cafe is really, really close to my work. I popped in here for lunch one afternoon for a quick bite to eat after I started waffling over where to go. I hadn’t had Thai food in a while so I figured I’d just jump over here for lunch.
When I walked in, the place was full. No one greeted me or showed me to a seat, so I grabbed a menu and sat myself in the hopes that someone would notice me since I couldn’t see any of the staff. After a few minutes, one of the staff pointed me out to a waitress and she came over to serve me. I placed my order and waited for my food to arrive.
I got the lunch special. The soup came pretty quickly. I’m not sure what kind of soup this was. It was kind of sour, had some sort of milk base in it and some fresh veggies in it. I didn’t like the flavor of it. I kept eating it, trying to figure out the flavors but after 5-6 bites I couldn’t eat any more. It was too sour for my tastes and had sort of a weird fishy taste in the background.
I waited a bit longer and got some cute mini appetizers. The wait was starting to get a bit noticeable at this point. The mini spring rolls were really crispy and hot, very good dipped in the sauce. I’ve never known what to call Thai sauces, they’re sort of like sweet and sour sweet, but not really. I enjoyed the mini egg rolls and fried wontons a bunch. The little salad was cute, too, dressed up in a little dessert cup. Very colorful with a similar dressing on the greens.
I finally got my Pad Thai with Roasted Duck ($8.95) after I had been there for about a half hour. My idea of a quick lunch went out the door right there. When you order your food, they give you a 1-10 scale of spiciness. I’m kind of a wimp so I ordered this at a “3” and it was enough to tickle my tongue but not make me want to drink a ton of water (which was probably good since I didn’t get checked in on a lot). The noodles were good, though I wished for more peanuts on my Pad Thai. The overall flavor and spiciness was excellent. The roasted duck was just okay… I don’t think I enjoyed it that much. The skin on the duck was almost rubbery, which was kind of a turn-off. Maybe I shouldn’t have been expecting it to be crispy and I wouldn’t have been disappointed. The rest of the dish was good though.
This lunch was kind of hit and miss: really good spring rolls, bad soup. Good flavor and noodles on the Pad Thai, roasted duck was a let down. I think I would come back again, but I would peek in and see how busy they were.
California Thai Cafe
9550 Black Mountain Rd., Ste A
(between Miramar Rd & Activity Rd)
San Diego, CA 92126