Koon Thai Kitchen
3860 Convoy St. #102
San Diego, CA 92111
By Judi Curry
Several years ago, just after my husband died, I began to going to physical therapy for two torn rotator cuffs that developed because I had to lift Bob in and out of the wheelchair. On my first visit I met a delightful receptionist – Bettye – that was enrolled in a nursing program at a nearby college. As I continued to go for therapy several times a week, a friendship developed and she told me that she had decided to drop the nursing program and become an Occupational Therapist instead. I told her that when she graduated I would take her to lunch.
Her program was not an easy one; her fiancé passed away shortly after enrolling in the program, and her heart was not in the classes, but with a lot of support from friends and family, and in remembrance of “Manny”, she persevered and graduated, with honors, earlier this week. And it was time for me to put my money where my mouth is – hence lunch at the “Koon Thai Kitchen.”
Bettye picked the restaurant because it was one of her favorites. It was relatively easy to find, because the front of the restaurant faces Convoy Street and is easily seen from the boulevard. Parking can be a nightmare because of all the restaurants in this strip mall but I was lucky and found a place right away.
The restaurant was well lit and gave the feeling of a crispy cleanliness when walking into it. There are several parts of the “dining room” and I can imagine that at night it is packed. Although there were no televisions, the noise was deafening from those of us eating lunch. It is too bad there is no way to abate that noise; the ceilings are low, and the room is open with a few dividers made out of multi-colored sticks and although they are attractive, do nothing for noise control.
The menu is extensive, but I ordered from the Lunch menu, which is available M-Sa from 11-3:30 pm. There were 5 appetizers listed – and one soup, all at the price of $1.50 each, as long as they were ordered with an entrée from the lunch menu.
There were 14 entrees, and they could be served with veggies or tofu ($5.45); with mock duck, chicken, beef or pork ($5.95); with shrimp, calamari or fish ($6.95); a seafood combo – shrimp, calamari and green mussels ($8.95); or with scallops or duck ($8.95). All entrees are served with white or brown rice – except the noodle dishes – and a salad.
I ordered the Thai Pa-Nang Curry, cooked with coconut milk and mixed vegetables and asked for a“2” level of spice. (1-10 is offered, with 10 being the hottest.) It was served beautifully, and we laughed at the one carrot/one broccoli “garnish” adorning the plate. It was quite good.
Bettye ordered a “Spicy Noodle with Beef” – 7 in intensity – and she never even broke a sweat. It was nicely presented, and, according to her, very tasty. Although I usually taste everything that is eaten at my table, the 7 scared me away.
We both ordered the Thai Ice Tea and it was soothing to our mouths as we continued eating our meals. The milk that was infused in the tea helped me continue my meal without becoming a fire-breathing dragon.
The entire menu was fun to read, although the writing was in white ink and at times difficult to read in the room. The pictures were beautiful and helped in making decisions.
The total cost of the meal, with tip, came to $22. Would I go there again? Yes. I would be interested in trying some of the other items on the regular menu. And, I would try to go when it was not busy, because the noise, at times, made hearing Bettye very difficult. Bettye will be taking her board exams soon. When she passes them it will be time for lunch again. Who knows, we might just go back to Koon Thai Kitchen.