Last week my eating group went to Sen Thai, in the Shell building downtown. The atmosphere is the probably the best among Thai places - clean wood floor, black chairs, giant elephant murals and just a modern, clean feeling. There is a small bar at the entrance with fun Thai masks over it and the small selection of wines and beers are also out for view. Children would be welcome during the week, but weekends might be too crowded.
Upon being seated, we were served what looked like toasted pieces of wonder bread and a murky sweet peanut sauce lightly sprinkled with sesame seeds. It was so surprisingly good, we were excited to get the rest of our food. Menus are very appealing, with nifty print and good, tantalizing descriptions of the fare. The Singha Platter appetizer was big, but not so good. Coconut shrimp tasted as though they had been made, then frozen for an unacceptably long time. Egg rolls were standard. Chicken satay was somewhat better, with a strong marinade, but the peanut sauce failed to stand up to them. Corn cakes were tasty - fried batter with pieces of sweet (maybe canned) corn. I thought the platter represented White Trash Thai. The Crying Tiger Salad was a great improvement. Thinly sliced sauteed beef rested atop an intriguing iceberg/mint mix and the whole salad was bathed luxuriously by a slightly spicy, peanut-lemony dressing. This was craveable. Bamee BBQ Pork was not just bad, but terrible. It was a bowl of noodles, very gingery, without much sauce and served on iceberg. The pork was very gamey tasting. I know it was bad, because the diner who ordered it usually will eat anything, and he only had two bites. Sawaree Beef was only marginally better - flat noodles, spicy sauce (not enough), with the nice sweet beef slivers, and two scary freezer meatballs. Kapao seafood was a disaster. The only NICE thing I can say about it was that it was ordered spicy and it did come that way. Finally a restaurant that is not afraid to show some cajones. But both veggies and seafood were bland within. Carrots were pretty, but just no taste. Green beans were frozen variety. Scallops were only just edible. Calamari and shrimp appeared to be also frozen, then overcooked into sogginess.
Although portions were large, the prices were high to match. I would recommend this place only for the Crying Tiger, although there are supposed to be decent curries available also. Better Thai can be had at Thai Seafood in U.City, or Blue Elephant in Clayton.