Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Restaurant review: Thai Ocha in Denton
A review from Pegasus News content partner North Texas Daily hits one of Denton's favorite Thai restaurants.
DENTON While it may be a little more expensive than the average college-town fare, Thai Ocha offers an appealing alternative to the other generic Asian offerings in Denton.
The restaurant is tucked away on the corner of Malone and University Drive and is very easy to miss. We braved the noon traffic to catch the lunch special, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
From the outside, Thai Ocha doesn't look like much. We initially underestimated the atmosphere, but our notions were eliminated upon entry. The owners go to great lengths to create an authentic Thai atmosphere, complete with scenic photos of Thailand and what sounded like Thai easy listening playing on the radio. The soothing music and interesting décor made for a relaxing lunch experience.
The wait staff at Thai Ocha was very respectful, if not a bit talkative. We were seated and given our menus right away, and received our drinks very quickly.
Carrie was particularly pleased with the fancy dishes on which the food arrived, adding to the presentation value of the food.
We ordered the Thai dumplings as appetizers, which were surprisingly meaty and fulfilling. They are available either steamed or fried, and could make for a meal unto themselves. The entrees come with soup or salad; Phil had the Tom Kha soup and Carli had the salad. Carli's salad came with a sweet peanut-based dressing, which was a new and unique combination for us. Carrie described Phil's Tom Kha soup as "vegetable cereal."
We didn't have too long to finish our appetizers as the entrees came out quickly. Carrie had the classic pad thai, a traditional Thai dish made from noodles and egg. The texture of the noodles complemented the zesty taste of the chicken and egg, which had the slightest hint of peanut.
Carli felt a tad more adventurous and had the pineapple cashew fried rice. The sweetness of the pineapple quickly gave way to spicy rice, resulting in a tangy taste. Unfortunately there were only two pieces of pineapple in the dish, so the sweetness never really came back.
Phil, who eats more red curry than he probably should, predictably got the red curry with chicken. The curry was hearty, packed with lots of chicken, green peppers and bamboo shoots. The serving size was small, but it came with an impeccably presented cone of white rice, which the Food Snobs playfully dubbed the "Rice Mountain." He was almost reluctant to eat it - almost.
At about $6 to $9 for a lunch entrée, the price range may be outside that of a daily lunch stop, but Thai Ocha is a great place to bring a date or parents when trying to impress them with one's knowledge of other cultures. The prompt service, clean and soothing environment and authentic food make Thai Ocha definitely worth the price.
Pegasus News Content partner - North Texas Daily
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