ra-ka-de-ka is a local restaurant with 2 locations in San Diego. It’s in the realm of Pick-Up Stix, but they serve Thai food instead of Chinese. You place your order at the counter, find a seat, and they bring your food to your table. When I purchased a Groupon for ra-ka-de-ka, it wasn’t what I was expecting. I thought it would be more of a sit-down place rather than order-at-the-counter place. No matter! Off we went to enjoy new things.
These Triangles (aka Cream Cheese Wontons) were stuffed with crab meat and cream cheese. Much to the dismay of Jake and his son, this has actual crab meat in it, so it had that slightly fishy kind of flavor to it. The crab is quite apparent and in medium sized chunks and you can definitely taste it, vs. cream cheese wontons we get other places where there’s either a really tiny amount of crab or none at all. I just thought they were okay. They seemed like they were missing something flavor-wise to me, but I couldn’t quite place what it was that was missing.
These are some Spicy Chicken Wings. They’re not on the proper menu, they were advertised on a piece of paper taped to the register. You can get them in mild, medium or hot, I got them “medium”. They’re covered in sweet chili sauce which has a kick to it and a sort of sweet-spicy flavor to it. I was able to only eat one wing since the spiciness started to get to me. It’s not a lingering heat though. It just sort of punches you in the gut for a few and then wanders away. The “hot” wings though are probably another story.
Jake and son both got the Thai Orange Chicken. It’s fried chicken pieces mixed with a Thai sweet orange sauce. I got to snag a few pieces from Jake’s plate and I must say these were pretty tasty. It’s not quite like the Orange Chicken you get some Chinese places – this chicken was much more crispy on the outside and the sweet orange sauce had a really nice flavor. It was sweet, but not sickly sweet. It had good flavor and spices. This also comes with either steamed rice or brown rice.
As for me, I got what I usually get at Thai places: Pad Thai. This time I got it with Shrimp. They only have three levels here – mild, medium and spicy – I got mine as “medium” which gave it a bit of a spice kick. I really liked getting a piece of cilantro mixed into my bites, too. It gave it a fresh flavor. I actually ended up putting some peanut sauce and mixing it into my dish to cancel out a little bit of the spiciness. I am kind of wimp after all, but I wanted just a tiny bit of spiciness. It would have been nice if I could have chose my “level” a bit more, but ah well. This place is trying to appeal to more generalized-Americanized taste buds, so it is what it is.
Jake had never had Thai before this and I pretty much forced this experience on him. I’d still like to take him to a more authentic Thai place. While I did like the dishes we had, I did feel like it was more of an Americanized Thai than anything else. But I think it was an easy way to introduce him to Thai food so he can see how the flavors and spices work and how they differ from Chinese.
ra-ka-de-ka | Fresh Thai Kitchen
2 locations in San Diego (Mission Gorge & Pacific Beach)
10450 Friars Rd.
San Diego, CA 92120
open daily 11:00 a.m. — 9:30 p.m.