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Thai me up! Thai me down!*

Mambo Chicken

I don’t usually give liars a second chance but Tiger, my handsome tattooed dinner companion of three months, deserved an opportunity to redeem himself. He needed to do some explaining and a quiet booth on the airy patio at Amarin Thai was the perfect setting.

Heart-to-heart conversations require good wine and I brought along a Dr. Loosen 2013 Riesling ($10.99 at Trader Joe’s). I prefer German varieties over their American counterparts because they tend to be drier and the light-bodied wine did not disappoint. Pairing well with spicy food, the Riesling begins with a good nose of apricot and pear, continues with a bright palate of peach and lemon, with a touch of honey and a subtle earthiness, then finishes with a satisfying smoothness. Amarin offers an extensive list of fine domestic and imported wines for your consideration, and charges a $15 corkage fee if you bring your own reserve.

We shared Satay Chicken and Tod Mun Pla ($7.99 each), and Tom Yum and Mixed Vegetable soups ($3.99 each). Tender slices of chicken breast meat, redolent with turmeric, are marinated in exotic spices and chiles, skewered and lightly grilled, then served with a creamy peanut sauce and crunchy cucumber and onion relish. Tod Mun Pla is a flavorful fish cake steeped in red chile sauce then fried to a delicate crunch and served with fiery cucumber chutney and crushed peanuts. The vegetable soup was bland and nondescript, but the Tom Yum, a traditional hot and sour soup with lemongrass, mushrooms and lime leaves, really brought the heat.

With our conversation going well, we enjoyed our entrées; he, the Yellow Curry with Pork, and me, the Panang Curry with Salmon ($15.99 each). A six ounce fork tender salmon fillet is served with steamed rice and mild Panang curry, a mouthwatering blend of red chiles, lemongrass, coriander, garlic, shrimp paste, basil, bell peppers and rich coconut milk. The Yellow curry really stands out. The sweet masterful blend of cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cumin, nutmeg and mace is truly sublime and unforgettable.

Since 1993, Executive Chef Nok Suree Suksudecha has used the freshest vegetables and meats to prepare delicious and exciting Thai cuisine. Which is probably the reason San Diego Magazine readers picked Amarin for Best Thai Food in 2015. Amarin is open seven days a week with lunch specials and a daily happy hour. Reservations are recommended. They’re also open late on weekends and are available to cater your next affair. Eat this, hungry readers. You’ll be glad you did.

* with apologies to Pedro Almodóvar



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Posted by on Aug 6, 2015. Filed under Eat This!. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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