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Restaurants & Bars 4

Tondang Thai - San Marino

Jack Flash | Feb 22, 200502:44 PM

This is a fairly new restaurant on Huntington Drive, near Oak Knoll, in San Marino (in the former Trio restaurant space).

Though I got my food to-go (no delivery as of yet), I noticed that the restaurant itself is very pleasant inside. Brightly lit (though not garish), warm yellow walls, wood floors, upholstered booths. There are two separate dining rooms.

The crowd on a recent weeknight looked like the crowd I would have expected at Trio - white-haired San Marinoans, well-dressed (men with jackets!), driving expensive luxury cars. Definitely not the crowd I'm used to seeing at my favorite LosHollySilverEchoFelizWoodLakePark area Thai joints.

On to the food:

A varied menu. We ordered several things: chicken satay, satay hand rolls (pretty much Vietnamese spring rolls - goi cuon?), pad see-ew with beef, golden cups, mango ma muang with chicken, sesame beef, & fried tofu. Menu linked below.

Overall, a very favorable impression. Did not request any particular spice level, since I'm always curious what the "base line" is. Everything was pretty mild (although that is to be expected from what we ordered).

The chicken with mango was very good, something I haven't seen on a Thai menu before. It was sort of a sweet & sour dish. I would have liked some spice to balance the sweet on this dish (though it was not cloying). The sesame beef was probably my favorite. Marinated strips of beef, served with a dipping sauce that had some dried red chiles in it, giving it a nice little kick.

The peanut sauce for the satay wasn't what I'm used to. Rather than being a thick sauce that's essentially a seasoned peanut butter, it was a very thin sauce with only a hint of peanut. I prefer the thicker stuff. The cucumber salad accompaniment was excellent.

Total for all of that was around $50, with enough leftovers for another meal.

I'll definitely order again, and this time I'll ask for a bit more kick on some of the dishes.

Noted that there is another Tondang in Brentwood. Thus, the spice level (or lack thereof) was to be expected, given the clientele they're probably used to serving.

Note: my parents ate at the San Marino location recently, and have been raving about the lemongrass pork ever since.

Link: http://www.tongdang.com/

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