San Diego is packed with more than its fair share of Thai restaurants, and Lotus Thai in the Hillcrest neighborhood is one of the most inventive especially for the price. The decor and ambiance are also a cut above, with mirrored waterfalls in the middle of the dining room adding serenity.
The menu is extensive with all of the Thai standards like Pad Thai and several choices of curries that can be made with many choices of meat, seafood, tofu, or vegetables. The Chef’s Specials Menu is a list of about 15 entrees based on traditional Thai dishes with a new world spin. The Crying Tiger Steak is tender, spicy and will require a few glasses of water to quell the heat.
On this particular visit I had the crispy Noodle Shrimp Tempura appetizer which are noodles wrapped around a lightly breaded shrimp and a little bacon presented on a stick with a side of plum sauce. Crunchy unique combination of sweet and savory.
Entree choices are more difficult, as possibilities are nearly endless. I opted for a very spicy (level 7), which wasn’t hot enough for me: Roasted Cashews with Vegetables. Vegetables all had great crunch with bok choy, onions, leeks, broccoli, water chestnuts, and red peppers. It also came with a side of brown rice and an egg roll for $6. I felt like I was stealing. A great deal for a fantastic meal.
I did not try the wine and beer menu on this visit, but there’s a nice selection-be sure to try it if you stop in.
Lotus Thai Cuisine has two locations, and can be found at:
Photo credit: Lotus Thai Cuisine