Thursday, June 2, 2016

Restaurant Thoughts: Zab-Zab Thai Cuisine

Yesterday, R turned 14. And while he had plenty of "custom orders" for the kitchen - I made lasagna for his school lunch, MOffins for breakfasts, and lemon squares for his class - he wanted to go out for dinner. And he picked Thai. There's a relatively new Thai place in town that we haven't tried, so we went there: Zab Zab Thai Cuisine.

Zab, in Thai, means 'delicious, spicy, and hot." So, I surmise that Zab Zab means doubly so. We talked about what we all wanted to try...and the birthday boy ordered everything for us.

What We Ate...

Zab Zab Fresh Spring Rolls
Fresh vegetables, marinated tofu, and fresh mint in a fresh rice paper wrapper 
Served with a tamarind-peanut sauce

Pok Pok
Sliced green papaya, chili, lime juice, and roasted peanuts

Pork Larb
Hand-minced pork with red onion, mint, cilantro, lime, and spices
Served in a lettuce leaf

Beef Yellow Curry, Cumin Prawns
Beef with Indian yellow curry, coconut milk, potatoes, bell pepper, and onion
Sauteed Monterey Bay prawns with cumin puree sauce, egg, onion, 
red bell pepper, celery, and green onion

Pad Thai
Pan-fried rice noodles, egg, bean sprouts, and crushed peanuts

Pork Red Curry
(not pictured) Red chili paste, bamboo shoots, green beans, carrots, zucchini, and basil

What We Thought...

First, my crew loves Thai food and we've had a lot of it. Plus we've had a lot of great Thai food. Whenever we're in Berkeley on a Sunday we - and about a thousand Berkeley residents - head to Wat Mongkolratanaram, the Thai Buddist temple for their Sunday brunch. It's not just food, it's an institution. It's amazing and it's worth the lines. When I think about it, I bring glass containers to the temple and order extra food for dinner!

This food was not that.

Second, given the name of the restaurant - remember, it means 'spicy, delicious, and hot', I was expecting the food to be spicy, delicious, and hot. While it was flavorful, I wouldn't have characterized any of it as 'spicy or hot.' I loved how fresh it was. And it was delicious. I just wish it had a little bit more heat to it.

Would we eat there again? Sure. Is it cemented as one of our go-to spots? Unfortunately, no. A friend said that I needed to be more specific about how hot I wanted it. So, maybe I'll give that a try. One of these days...

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