Chicken Panang Curry @ Spices Thai Cafe

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I took a little trip to Spices Thai Cafe in Carmel Valley for lunch today. I was hoping for something quick but ended up waiting for 15 minutes for my to-go order, which isn’t bad. Spices Thai Cafe is located in the Piaza Carmel Shopping Center with Von’s. I went just before noon and thought there would be more people than there was. The woman at the host counter took my to-go order, not one smile throughout my entire visit though, unfortunately. I am pretty big on smiling, pleasant customer service and when I don’t get it, it makes my experience feel, well kinda awkward. I’m a smiling kind of guy most of the time, and I figure if I can smile while paying you money, you should be able to smile back when you receive my money. Oh well, on to the food my friend!

The Low-down:

I ordered the Chicken Panang Curry lunch special. It’s served with steamed white rice, tossed salad, fried spring rolls, fried won tons and their soup of the day.

The Chicken Panang Curry was lacking in flavor, all I really tasted was bell pepper, salt and a little bit of heat. I ordered my heat level at an 8 on a scale from 1-10. It wasn’t very hot, at all. I think they dumb down the heat factor at places like this because they think most people can’t take the heat, well I can buster! So you betta’ dish it!

The Chicken Panang Curry contained sliced bell peppers (green and red), carrot, onion and basil. I couldn’t taste the coconut milk flavor, just salt and bell pepper, and the amount of chicken that was in the curry was a pretty small portion for a $10 lunch without a drink. If this Thai food was higher quality I would have easily overlooked the small portion of chicken for the price. The two mini fried spring rolls were the highlight of my lunch, served with a sweet & sour sauce. The 2 fried wontons had some unidentifiable ingredients in them, green in color with some Indian spice flavors I couldn’t quite figure out. The tossed salad I didn’t eat, I’m picky about salads and I just normally don’t eat salads unless it’s my entree. Steamed rice was standard.

I probably wouldn’t order this dish again but I might try something else on the menu if all the other restaurants in the area went out of business.

3810 Valley Centre Dr Suite 903
San Diego, CA 92130
Neighborhood: Carmel Valley

(858) 259-0889

Mike Scarbrough
Mike Scarbrough is an Austin, TX local, food writer and editor of ChoppedBasil.com