Saturday, August 30, 2008

Top Thai Restaurant - San Dimas

Sometimes in all this talk about blog rankings and pageviews, what gets lost is why I started a food blog in the first place. Armed with a battered Canon SD110, I set out to highlight some of the mom and pop restaurants that didn't receive much, if any, coverage. Not the latest "trendy" food. Not the restaurants located in culinary paradises like the San Gabriel Valley, Little Saigon, and Koreatown. Just the small ethnic restaurants in average places.

Top Thai Restaurant - San Dimas 1

Top Thai Restaurant, located a block away from the Western-style downtown of San Dimas, serves up good Thai food. While that doesn't sound like high praise, it really is when you think of the culinary wasteland that is the Inland Valley and Inland Empire.

The interior is decorated with lots of Thai knick knacks and travel posters.

Top Thai Restaurant - San Dimas 2

This was the old menu. Their new menu has the same dishes, but everything now costs about a dollar more. It's a pretty extensive menu though. Even with the raised prices, most dishes fall within the $8 range.

Top Thai Restaurant - San Dimas 3

On this night I was dining with my brother and his wife and lil' sis, who was craving tom yum kai (Thai hot and sour chicken soup with lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, mushrooms, chili, and lime juice) for $8.99.

Top Thai Restaurant - San Dimas 4

The broth was lovely with all the subtle fragrance from the galangal, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves. I actually appreciate when Thai restaurants leave the herbs in the soup because I think it makes the broth so much more flavorful.

Top Thai Restaurant - San Dimas 5

We also ordered a Thai green curry with tofu for $7.99. It comes with a choice of smoked or white tofu, snow peas, asparagus, red and green bell peppers, squash, and fresh basil leaves. The green curry was too light in flavor, too subtle. I like their red and yellow curries better.

Top Thai Restaurant - San Dimas 6

The pad kee mao with beef (Thai stir-fried thick rice noodles with ground beef, chili, onion, mint leaves, green pepper, green beans, and tomatoes) for $7.99. Good flavors but not very spicy. I'd ask for it to be spicier next time.

Top Thai Restaurant - San Dimas 7

Pineapple fried rice with eggs, pineapples, cashews, curry powder, and chicken for $8.99. I had forgotten about the cashews and curry powder when I made my version of pineapple fried rice with Spam. The curry powder was subtle, but a very nice touch.

Top Thai Restaurant - San Dimas 8

Previous visits and with my old camera.

Thai beef salad for $8.99. It's funny for me to compare my old and new photos. While I don't think my photography is that great, I did learn some things in the past few years. Such as, if I'm going to take a picture of a beef salad, I should angle the plate so you can actually see the beef. :P But yes, there was beef and it was good.

Top Thai Restaurant - San Dimas 9

Red curry with coconut milk, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, fresh basil leaves, and hot pepper sauce for $7.99. I like red curry more than green or yellow so this was my favorite of the three.

Top Thai Restaurant - San Dimas 10

The yellow curry is just listed on the menu as curry chicken with potatoes, yellow curry paste, coconut milk, and onions for $7.99. This is richer and thicker than the red and green versions.

Top Thai Restaurant - San Dimas 11

Phad Thai (Thai pan-fried rice noodles with eggs, chicken, bean sprouts, green onions, and ground peanuts) for $7.99.

Top Thai Restaurant - San Dimas 12

Vegetarian pad kee mao with tofu for $7.99. I liked the vegetarian version here more than the beef. More sauce. More flavor.

Top Thai Restaurant - San Dimas 13

While it won't knock your socks off, finding not only a decent, but a good, Thai restaurant out in the 909 makes it worth a visit if you're in the area.

Other Thai restaurants:
Bhan Kanom Thai - Los Angeles (Thai Town)
Noodle World - Alhambra
Palms Thai Restaurant - Los Angeles (Hollywood)
Thai Purple - Alhambra

Top Thai Restaurant
110 N. San Dimas Ave.
San Dimas, CA 91773
11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

1 year ago today, Japanese cream puffs -- Beard Papa's - San Gabriel.


  1. It's kind of a bummer, isn't it, to see prices go up everywhere. Top Thai is a bit far for my lunch bunch, but it's nice to know there's one. Is it close to Elephant Thai?

  2. oh my your photos make me crave for great authentic thai food :-) too bad i've never found not even one great asian restaurants here in france..

  3. Hi Wandering Chopsticks!

    We've tagged you for a random facts meme. Hope you do it!

    TS and JS =)

  4. Mmm, that soup looks good! I also prefer having the herbs left in, even if they're not edible. Just makes the whole thing seem richer.

    I'm wondering if you've been to Jitlada in Thai Town (Hollywood). It's gotten to be one of those "trendy" places in that all I hear are raves about it. It's supposed to be southern-style Thai food, and much much spicier. I went about a year ago because of the hype, and wasn't all too impressed. Thinking maybe I should give it another shot, but I'm stick surprised by all the glowing reviews out there. Would love to know if you've had any experience!(

  5. Nikki,
    I've never heard of Elephant Thai, so I'm imagining not? :P

    I bet you'd find some in Paris! I had good food at a few to-go Asian places in Paris, and a not-so-great pho.

    I'm overdue for another one so I'll combine them both!

    I've heard the Jitlada hype and asked a Thai friend what he thought of it. He said he didn't think it was very good. So that didn't compel me to go try it any time soon. :P


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