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Restaurants & Bars 22

Thai - Khao Sarn - note on authenticity

lergnom | Apr 12, 2008 09:35 AM

Had dinner at Khao Sarn in Coolidge Corner on Friday (4/11). I don't usually eat there. Place was packed with no free tables until 9:30 or so.

Drinks. I ordered a g&t because the other drinks I tasted from people already there were too sweet. I know people like sweet drinks but I prefer a balanced taste. The g&t wasn't expensive but it was also a bar brand - New Amsterdam, I think - so it didn't taste very good. I wasn't asked if I wanted a brand, which surprised me, so I went with that. A friend had a sidecar. I thought it was poorly balanced - well, actually, yucky. They don't have a cheap bar brand for cognac so the drink was overpriced for the taste.

The food is the main point and that showed what's meant by the recurring discussions about authenticity. In a word: not. The food was tasty, but everything was sweetened, and every dish used almost the same vegetables - all fresh and clean tasting and cut in the same ways. Only the sauces were different. One dish has some fire but it too was sweet beyond the chili taste. It's a little strange to order four dishes from four different sections of the menu and have three of the plates arrive looking nearly identical. Only the pad see you looked different and it was very sweet.

In most places, this would be good Thai food. It was fresh. It was reasonably priced for the portions and the quality of the ingredients. The service was ok. The food has been sweetened for American tastes and in most cases the only part of the dish which made it Thai was the sauce. You could easily imagine a setup in back with a bunch of sauces and a bunch of prepped veggies. It's not that the food was poorly made but that it wasn't very Thai in taste and little effort had been made to differentiate the dishes.

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