I couldn’t understand why the staple Thai restaurant on the 101 in Encinitas that’s been around forever, “Siamese Basil”, would close down. But then to find out it was being replaced by another Thai restaurant called “Plum”…that didn’t make sense. If Siamese Basil couldn’t hack it serving both vegetarian and carnivorous options, why would Plum, a strict vegetarian restaurant do better with less options? And don’t we already have enough vegetarian restaurants on the 101? We meat lovers are getting the boot and I’m a bit disgruntled. You Plant People can always order options without the meat, but at your restaurants, we carnivores have no meat options at all. Totally unfair.
This sign hanging out front explained everything.
I’m going to be honest here. I forgot my reading glasses. And as I head into the big 5-0 this year, I’m blind as a bat when it comes to reading without them. So I took a picture of this sign and waited until I got home to read it. I just read it. I am so blown away by the story! Not only are they supporting our own community with their profits, they are supporting their home country as well. How very Paul Newman of them. Ok, I LOVE them even more now!
Entering the restaurant, we noticed the lack of decor and stark white walls. This makes much more sense now that we know that they are in transition. Same with makeshift sign hanging over Siamese Basil’s. I now have clarity.
Our waitress was very friendly and attentive and we were excited to order dinner. We started with a bowl of Tom Yum to share among the 5 of us. Tom Yum is a hot and sour soup with mixed vegetables and fresh chili. I thought we mentioned to our server to keep things at a level 2 (out of 10) on the Thai spice scale. Lynne took a ladle of soup off the top and didn’t think it was very spicy at all. But those dangerous red flakes were looming just below the surface. The broth was so good, I couldn’t let the pain stop me from enjoying it. So it was take a spoonful of soup, ow ow ow, put some ice water in my mouth. Soup-ow-ow-ow-ice water. Soup-ow-ow-ow-ice water. I looked around to see how the others were managing, and there was John, adding spoonful after spoonful of extra hot condiments into his bowl. I couldn’t believe it. He told us that he was the only American to order something in Thailand with a “10” and lived to brag about it.
The broth was a powerhouse of flavor. My only minor complaint is that I wish it had more of the delicious vegetables in it.
Here is what my bowl looked like after I was done. That’s a mighty spicy bowl!
We shared an appetizer sampler platter. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I am not usually a fan of “mock” meat. But slap my ass and call me Judy! These satay “chicken” skewers were to die for! In fact, everything was delicious and presented beautifully.
Our next course was the sautéed eggplant with an option of jackfruit, which none of us had ever had. We were living large tonight. Taking chances. Going for it. We conquered that spicy soup. We took down that mock chicken. Jackfruit? Bring it!
Though I was intrigued to try jackfruit, I was also a bit nervous. I mean, have you seen one? They’re not pretty.
I found the texture and appearance of the jackfruit pieces to be a lot like the eggplant, without the purple skin. I took a nibble, then ate the whole piece. Not bad actually. It tasted a bit like…chicken? No, artichoke heart.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the brown rice option we chose was actually a medley of grains, giving great texture and nuttiness to the rice. And what a nice touch to make it into a heart. We ♥ that.
The next dish was one I ordered called, “Pad See Iw” only I can’t pronounce it correctly. I butchered the pronunciation so bad in fact, that my server had no clue what I was saying. When I told her it was the one with the thick egg noodles and broccoli she said the name of it back to me which sounded nothing like what I told her. Oh well. She got it right and it was delicious! It was truly outstanding with the “chicken”. Everyone loved it.
Katie ordered the Pad Thai. I have had Pad Thai so much in my life, it’s not something I order anymore. Too boring. Been there, done that. And the thing that brings Pad Thai to life is the fish sauce, so I’m sure it wouldn’t be very good here without it. WRONG! Not only was this Pad Thai with tofu amazing, I think it may be the best Pad Thai I’ve ever had. I will absolutely order this again next time. Fan-friggin’-tastic!
And that my friends, is a wrap. Or so I thought. Our friends started sniffing at the dessert menu. I didn’t need anything. I wasn’t going to order any. But if someone else happened to order the chocolate lava cake on the menu, I wouldn’t exactly kick it out of bed. But when Lynne started ohhing and ahhhing over the Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango, I thought she was nuts. DID SHE NOT SEE THE CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE ON THE MENU?? But since I wasn’t ordering it, I had no say.
When the Sticky Rice arrived, we all took forks and scooped it up (except Hubby who won’t eat anything with coconut). Ohhhhh my. This was amazing beyond words! I closed my eyes to savor the deliciousness of the rich, creamy, coconutty rice with the sweet mango. I tuned out the world around me and immersed myself in these few bites of heaven. Do other people know about this??? Lynne, who has spent time there, told me that this is the traditional dessert served in Thailand, and yes, everyone knows about it. And now I do too.
Do not come to Plum Encinitas because you are looking for good vegetarian Thai food. Come to Plum because you are looking for good food. Even if you’re a dedicated carnivore, you will miss NOTHING. The mock chicken and organic tofu protein options complete any dish. They also have mock duck and beans you can add that we didn’t try. Try the jackfruit option if you’re feeling adventurous. I found the prices to be spot on for the quality and organic ingredients used to make these scrumptious dishes. I am on-board with these Plant People. Plum is not only fantastic, it is special.
Join us next week for live music and dinner on Sunday, February 10th 6pm at
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*** Please follow my new travel blog to read about our upcoming adventure in New Zealand at www.whythehellisntanyonepayingmetowritethisblog.home.blog
*** Please come and support my team “Spinheads” at a super fun event this Saturday, February 9th from 7-10pm at the Encinitas Elk Lodge as we raise money for the Encinitas YMCA! There will be a fantastic live band to dance to, snacks, silent auction, raffle prizes and more! Tickets are just $10 each and you can buy them here:
Thank you for your support!!!