Since there have been a few Santa Cruz hounds here in recent months I thought I would pass on the word that the Thai Noodle house has opened on Mission in the site of an old Salvadoran restaurant next to Carpos and across from Safeway. They only opened last Friday and the place is a bit chaotic as the staff are still learning the menu and working out the flow between their takeout counter and sit down business. This is not helped by the fact that the takeout board/menu does not exactly match the sitdown menu and there are a few things not yet available.
The menu has a selection of noodle soups and stir frys and fairly standard apps/salads. Entrees are not the usual huge list of items but the usual selection of currys and around 8-10 other stir frys. Prices for entrees are higher than most places in town ~$12 but there seem to be some good values in fish dishes. Noodle soups and fried noodles are good values in the $6 range. Oh and there is a cook at the table sukiyaki option which I don't quite understand but am guessing it is more like a hotpot.
And breaking new restaurant ground, in addition to a semi-open kitchen they have an open pantry to the side of the door so you can browse their dry goods. Lots of MaePloy, dragonfly etc... A bit odd but interesting for anyone who cooks at home.
On to food:
I have had 2 noodle soups. A clear chicken broth with pork and fish ball and a spicy beef broth with beef ball and sliced beef. The broths were both very good- better IMO than those at the Noodle house at Soquel/Ocean. Noodles still have good texture (you can choose from flat reice, short rice, vermicelli and egg) and there is also a bit of lettuce and some spinach or morning glory. The soups are then topped with a bit of (I think) crispy fried shallot. The beef broth had a fairly subtle spiciness which I increased at the table. There is a nice selection of condiments at the table: sambal style hot sauce, chile vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, and a very nice roasted chile powder/flake that is clearly made in house.
Overall I have been pretty happy. I love SE Asian noodle soups and these seem to be a bit of an afterthought at most of the local thai places so I think this is a good addition to the local food scene. I will try to get in for dinner before long and post back on some of the entree and appetizer options.
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