Baan Thai Restaurant
Seaside, CA

 

 

Newspaper Reviews

Best Thai Restaurant

Monterey County Weekly; March 24, 2017 (also winner in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016)
one of several Asian eateries in the Fremont Street district of Seaside that are raising the standards for cuisine there

Baan Thai is one of several Asian eateries in the Fremont Street district of SeasideBest of Monterey County 2017 that are raising the standards for cuisine there. Classic dishes like pad Thai and yellow curry are carefully seasoned to please the unique palate of each individual patron. Beef oyster sauce over rice is a surprisingly balanced and savory marriage of meats. Baan Thai consistently serves top quality poultry, beef, seafood and veggies. Like it, tweet it, share it! Or share this link:
Monterey County Weekly




Best Thai Restaurant

Monterey County Weekly; March 24, 2016 (also winner in 2012, 2013, 2015)
The hoi todd enfolds green mussels inside a Vietnamese crepe

The pad Thai and the green curry are great for beginners.Best of Monterey County 2016 More experienced patrons swear by the powers imparted by a fire pot of tom kah kai. But those who’ve graduated from the basics trust in the house specials. The spicy fish is a portrait of fragrant, complex vegetables tossed over deep-fried whole trout. The hoi todd enfolds green mussels inside a Vietnamese crepe that brings spice, crunch and savory fluff together in each bite. Go paleo with pra-ram, a bed of steamed spinach topped with meat and peanut sauce. Then come back and try something new. Baan appétit. Like it, tweet it, share it! Or share this link:
Monterey County Weekly




Best Restaurant in Seaside

Carmel Pine Cone; October 26, 2015 (also winner in 2010, 2011, 2012)
Lunch specials are hard to beat in value and quality

A locals’ favorite soon after Bangkok native Tasani Anderson opened the restaurant in 1997, Baan Thai is known for its authentic, affordable and fresh Thai cuisine. Translated, its name means, “Thai House,” and that’s what Surut and June Somboonsam — Anderson’s son and daughter-in-law, who took over the restaurant in 1998 — strive for: giving their customers genuine Thai cuisine and hospitality. The couple and their staff treat guests like family and want them to feel at home. Lunch specials are hard to beat in value and quality, and Baan Thai is the perfect place to take a fun group that likes to share, so everyone gets a sample of the wide range of flavors and dishes available. Like it, tweet it, share it! Or share this link:
The Carmel Pine Cone




Best Thai Restaurant

Monterey County Weekly; April 2, 2015 (also winner in 2012 and 2013)
but nowhere in the county can you find a tastier panang curry

Sometimes family beats fancy. Best of Monterey County 2015At Baan Thai, the waitresses make a sweet fuss over the messiest babies, lunch options under $10 abound, and a plastic cat waves to you all meal long. Regulars come in for tom yum soup and happily dine solo. The spot is tucked into a nook in a strip mall, but nowhere in the county can you find a tastier panang curry. New menu specials include the Baan Thai trout: a deep fried whole fish with a golden-apple relish. Come as you are; leave happy. Like it, tweet it, share it! Or share this link:
Monterey County Weekly




Best Thai Restaurant

Monterey County Weekly;Mar 14, 2013 (also winner in 2012)
tucked-away place is treasured by those who know it

Let’s just pick one reason this laid-back, tucked-away place is treasured by those who know it: the fresh curries. Red, green, yellow, pineapple, panang, pumpkin, massamun, jungle. Vegetarian or with chicken, duck, seafood. Best sopped up by the most robust brown rice in town (be sure to request it). And if you need more convincing, we can move on to the soups, like the hot pots of sour-sweet, spicy-salty, coconut-creamy tom kha kai. But you don’t need convincing. You already know. Like it, tweet it, share it! Or share this link:
Monterey County Weekly




Best Thai Restaurant

Carmel Pine Cone; October 26, 2012 (also winner in 2010 and 2011)
authentic, flavorful food for reasonable prices

table served for twoLocated in a not-so-fashionable strip mall, Baan Thai churns out authentic, flavorful food for reasonable prices. Baan Thai offers a wide variety of regional Thai specialties, most notably the crispy half-duck on baby bok choy, panang curry, tom kha gai soup and khao tung (crispy rice cakes with ground-chicken curry sauce). While the menu features no shortage of meat and seafood, vegetarians — and even vegans — will be right at home here.




Best Thai Restaurant

Monterey County Weekly;Mar 14, 2012
Baan Thai is a neighborhood gem in Seaside, a place where in-the-know locals go.

Baan Thai is a neighborhood gem in Seaside, a place where in-the-know locals go for under-$10 lunches and family dinners with kick. Bring Junior; the waiters love babies. But it’s Mom and Dad who keep coming back for more crispy half-duck on baby bok choy, panang curry, tom kha gai soup and khao tung (crispy rice cakes with ground-chicken curry sauce). If it’s in season, save room for the decadent mango sticky rice dessert; it’s the stuff summertime dreams are made of.table served for two

Best Thai Restaurant

Carmel Pine Cone; September 23, 2011
Thai food is one of the healthiest — and most flavorful — styles of cooking on the planet.

Located in the back of a strip mall along Fremont Boulevard, Baan Thai Restaurant isn't the easiest place to find, but it's definitely worth a visit. Noted for its generous use of fresh vegetables, herbs and spices, Thai food is one of the healthiest — and most flavorful — styles of cooking on the planet. Baan Thai offers a wide variety of regional Thai specialties. While the menu features no shortage of meat and seafood, vegetarians — and even vegans — will be right at home in Baan Thai.

Best Thai Restaurant

Carmel Pine Cone; September 24, 2010
The lunch specials are unbeatable.

Flavorful, fresh Thai dishes at reasonable prices in the convivial atmosphere of this tiny restaurant make Baan Thai a favorite. Owners Surut (Tom) Somboonsam and his wife, June, want their customers to expect authentic Thai cuisine and hospitality. "We treat our guests like family, and we want our customers to feel cozy and at home. We prepare each entree with fresh ingredients to ensure the highest quality," they said. The lunch specials are unbeatable.

THAI'D Up

RAYMOND NAPOLITANO; Coast Weekly Sep 19, 2007, Excerpt from FOOD CHAIN
good, healthy food that is lovingly prepared in a clean, happy environment and doesn't rip out the innards of my wallet.

THAIED UP...Baan Thai is one of my favorite restaurants on the Monterey Peninsula. I eat out a lot, have done so for at least 25 years, and not just around here. I look for many things at different times when I'm interested in going out—sometimes it has little to do with the food, sometimes everything. Sometimes I just want to hang out with the people who own or work at the place, sometimes I want to be anonymous. One thing that I always love to have is a go-to restaurant when I want good, healthy food that is lovingly prepared in a clean, happy environment and doesn't rip out the innards of my wallet. That's what Baan Thai is and has heen for a long time. They're over in Seaside, next to Gold's Gym in University Shopping Plaza. Baan Thai, the real deal for a real meal.

Seaside's Barn Thai a Fresh, Affordable Treat

MIKE HALE & MELISSA SNYDER, Excerpt; Monterey Herald November 6, 2003 Restaurant Reviews

The next time you're feeling really adventurous at lunchtime, Thai one on. Really. Fresh vegetables, herbs and spices with a kick, affordable prices- no hangover. One of the best local lunch spots for Thai food is Barn Thai in Seaside. Located in a not-so-fashionable strip mall, this place churns out authentic, flavorful food for an honest price. Currently, the $4.95 lunch specials are the best sit-down meals for your money on The Peninsula. Consider, a large plate of traditional Pad Thai along with a bowl of hot and sour soup or salad with peanut dressing- for under $5.

The bottom line: The best Tenspot value we've found this year. And yummy, too.

And this isn't fast food. Thai cuisine offers staples such as rice noodles, bean sprouts, tender-crisp vegetables and tofu, assorted meats and fish, as well as herbs such as Thai basil and mint (a spunky difference from the usual), ginger, lemon grass and Thai chiles.

Afraid of the fire? Barn Thai prepares its meals to order, based on a one- to five-chile pepper rating system (we don't recommend five- it will light your hair on fire.) The three-chile rating puts a nice kick in the food without masking the wonderful flavors.

On the plate: The menu features 32 lunch plate specials (half of them vegetarian), served between 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Try the Kai Koar, flat noodles stir-fried with chicken, eggs, carrots, onions and bean sprouts, topped with the familiar ground peanuts. Add a Thai iced tea and you're in and out in 20 minutes for about six bucks.

The menu is fascinating. Co-owners Tom and June will lead you by the hand through the menu, which includes soups, salads, curries, rice or noodle dishes, and a category called special home dishes. It's there we discovered a dish called simply, Barn Thai Noodle. Thin, flat rice noodles come stir-fried and topped with ground chicken, tofu, black mushrooms, bean sprouts and dried shrimp ($6.95). Guaranteed leftovers due to the large portion.

The big hit this day was the posted special, salad rolls. Thin, see-through rice wraps surrounded a medley of tofu, lettuce, Thai basil, cilantro and thin, cooked rice sticks. Delicious dipped in the accompanying peanut sauce. And for only $3.95 the six halves were quite the bargain.

At your service: Tom and June have run the show for nearly five years and work hard to please a hungry crowd. Service is fast, friendly and helpful. They say hello and goodbye (not heard everywhere, believe us) and have actually been known to smile.

The place is small but clean and adorned with colorful Thai curios. The crowds start arriving right after the noon hour- so plan accordingly. It's tucked in the back of the University Plaza and the signage is not too visible. But keep looking.

The bottom line: The best Tenspot value we've found this year. And yummy, too.

Try This Thai

MARTIN MEURSAULT Monterey Herald: January 2, 2003 Excerpt from Table Talk

Baan Thai opened in Seaside in February 1997, run by the capable and talented Bangkok native, Tasani Anderson. Her son, Surut (Tom) Somboonsam, and his wife June took over the following year. The couple's first year or two on their own turned out to be a learning curve, but the restaurant has now hit its stride. Put quite simply, this is one of the best Thai restaurants in the area, with creative dishes, a deft hand in the kitchen, and extraordinarily reasonable prices. Anybody who enjoys Thai food will certainly want to give this place a try. Chef Tom balances flavors well, creating complex yet subtle marriages with fresh and high-quality ingredients.

Chef Tom balances flavors well, creating complex yet subtle marriages with fresh and high-quality ingredients.

I will simply describe some of the dishes that I particularly like: Khao tung uses crispy rice cakes, lightly laced with palm sugar, as a base for a delightful meat-based sauce generally chicken, but Tom can use pork or beef flavored with a sweet red curry.

The rice cakes are handmade by Tom's sister-in-law's mom and achieve their popped-rice consistency by being dried in the sun. Definitely, this is one of my favorite dishes.

The homemade Thai sausage is one dish that is made ahead, so the spiciness cannot be adjusted to individual taste.

The sausage uses ground pork as tlle main ingredient, but the predominant flavor is lemon grass with other spices in the background. Sliced and served with a wedge of cabbage and sliced raw ginger, this is not a selection for wimps.

Shrimp rolls are big prawns wrapped in a beehive of crispy noodles, served with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce. Wonderful textures and flavors.

Hoy todd is a pan-fried crispy omelette, made with com powder and eggs, embedded with fresh mussels, served on a bed of sprouts, and accompanied by a sweet and spicy fruit syrup on the side.

Every salad I have tasted has been remarkably fresh and refreshing.

One that I particularly enjoy is the papaya salad, made witll shredded green papaya, mixed with lime juice, tomato, peanuts, dried shrimp, fish sauce, green onions and spicy chili. In the mouth, this is crunchy, with upfront tartness backed with layers of other flavors.

I very much liked the pad Thai, a traditional noodle dish available in virtually every Thai restaurant I have ever entered.

Here, the dish - with its chicken, egg, bean sprouts, ground peanuts, and green onion - comes to the table moist instead of dry, with excellent flavors which blend together beautifully. The elusive, barely-detectable citrus flavor comes from tamarind sauce.

ALL THAI'D Up

RAYMOND NAPOLITANO; Coast Weekly 2003, Excerpt from restaurant and food review

Thai food is not for everyone­ although it should be. In Thai cuisine, staples like rice, noodles, fresh vegetables, assorted meats and fishes provide the foundations for beautifully balanced dishes that emphasize freshness. Vegetables are not overcooked; meat is not disproportionately overloaded-this food is good for you.

What awaits is an opportunity to taste seasonings like Thai basil, mint, ginger, lemon grass, various curries, peanuts, cashews and of course those magnificent Thai chilies.

And the spiciness can always be modified. What awaits is an opportunity to experience seasonings like Thai basil, mint, ginger, lemon grass, various curries, peanuts, cashews and of course those magnificent Thai chilies. If you have the gastrointestinal gumption, eat the food hot and spicy. If you are already a spicy food lover, Thai food should be in the regular rotation.

Fiery chilies forge fresh fish, vegetables, meats and exotic spices into flavor fests. Fascinating curries, noodles, marinades and dishes with names like Laab Kai (ground chicken with lime juice, onion, mint and rice powder, served with fresh cabbage and cucumber); Goi Se Mee (crispy egg noodle with chicken, bamboo shoots, black mushroom in gravy sauce) or the Kai triplets-Kao Mun Kai, Kao Nah Kai and Kao Mok Kai-invigorate the palate and mind.

Barn Thai is an honest restaurant. It delivers more than your money's worth and provides the folks in Seaside with a solid Thai experience.

LITTLE BIT 'O THAI

RAYMOND NAPOLITANO; Monterey Weekly, Aug 28, 2003 Excerpt from Foodchain

... Sweet Thing keeps reminding me to mention Barn Thai, the great little Thai restaurant tucked in a corner of Seaside's Fremont Avenue near Gold's Gym. According to Miss Thing, and I completely concur, "the place is clean and serene, the food is honest, pure and from the heart." She is of course referring to owners Tom (he's also the chef) and his wife June, two lovely spirits that apply their giving nature to everything involved in the restaurant.

The vegetables were bouncing with flavor, cooked al dente and bursting with nutrients.

As Sweet Thing says, "even the service, it's so caring, you can tell they're not just throwing down a meal. The other day I was finished with my workout (Miss Thing is a weightlifter) and I stopped in to Barn Thai and had a rice and vegetable dish. The vegetables were bouncing with flavor, cooked al dente and bursting with nutrients (she's also a nutritionist)." Trust her, check this place out: Barn Thai, 394-2996.

Chef Profiles 2

BORIS ILABACA Monterey WEEKLY Feb 17, 2005 Excerpt from Chef Profiles

BORIS ILABACA
Title: Executive Chef Restaurant: The Old Bath House
Marital Status: Married
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
Prior Stints: Montrio, Moose's (San Francisco), Hawthorne Lane (San Francisco) and The Lodge at Pebble Beach.
What's In Your Fridge? Thin sliced ham-not smoked.
Chef Ilabaca Favorite Local Foodstuffs: Artichokes, strawberries.
Favorite Local Restaurant to Take Out-of-Towners: Stillwater Bar and Grill.
Favorite Local Restaurant (Budget): Barn Thai in Seaside.