Friday, September 21, 2012

Spice Thai and Sushi, Lakeland

Despite enjoying various Asian cuisines and liking spicy foods, the only time I have ever had Thai food is when I managed the meal prep kitchen. We had some wonderful meals with red curry paste, coconut milk, and other staples of Thai food, but without a frame of reference, I wasn't sure if they were accurate representations of that nation's food. I did know that if they were, I wanted more.

Now that I have a comparison, yes, those were the real deal and after visiting Spice Thai in Lakeland, I definitely do want more. Especially if it is here.

For a few years, I'd heard that Spice is a very good restaurant, but once in a while, I'd get a bad report. Still, it was rare enough that I was willing to give the place a try. Last night, Ed and I decided to have a meal without the kids (yay for teenagers!) and this came up. Once again, we wonder why we waited so long.

Our server was an older woman who was very attentive and kind to the first-timers. She asked if we'd eaten Thai before, which Ed did often when working in DC. I was the total noob, but I let her know that we eat curries. I wanted an appetizer and asked for crab rangoons. These are not your Chinese takeout wonton wrappers that are more wrapper than filling. No, they were these delicate and light pastries, filled with a savory cream cheese filling and served with a decent sized bowl of sweet chili sauce. (Probably the same sauce that sits in my pantry, even). Look at how pretty they are:
I suspect I may have a hard time trying another appetizer next time, because these were such a nice treat, fried without being heavy. Then again, I may be convinced to try the spring rolls.

Now, I was wavering between two dishes and couldn't decide. Apparently, these same two dishes were Ed's choices, too, so we opted to get both and share them. We both like red curry and really like basil, so that drove our choices. Meanwhile, their sushi menu looks like it is worthy of a trip for sushi lunch or dinner sometime soon.

The first choice: the drunken spicy pasta. I got this with beef, but it can be served with a variety of meat or seafood, but I was sure the beef would hold up to the flavors and spice-which it did nicely. This noodle was thinner than spaghetti, but thicker than angel hair, had a nice red broth and was infused with the flavor of basil without really noticing it in the dish. Also in the dish were large strips of pepper and onions and for the average person, it's a perfectly sized meal. I had leftovers, which I wouldn't have had if I had been really hungry(or average person hungry, as Ed is prone to telling me).

Ed went for the red curry with mixed meats. The mixed meats are chicken, pork and beef. In my opinion, the chicken was the weakest link in this dish. It was tender but the flavors overwhelmed it. On the other hand, the pork and the beef were a good complement to the coconut milk, onion, pineapple and red curry in the dish. It was hotter than my dish, but still not overly hot. Maybe we should tell them to go Thai hot next time?

Once done with the rest of the dish, Ed took the leftover rice and mixed it into the bowl with the remaining red curry sauce and enjoyed that so much, he didn't offer me any. He's usually good about sharing, this tells me that this sauce was incredible on its own.

We both agree that it will not be very long before we head back. Of course, a friend later asked if we'd gotten the fried banana dessert, but we were too full to consider dessert this time around. Maybe next time will be some makimono sushi and a dessert, or even their $6.95 lunch specials.

All I know is that I am very happy that we have tried another cuisine in Lakeland and been pleased with the food and service. Well done, Spice!

Spice Thai & Sushi Rest on Urbanspoon

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