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19 December 2010

Tonight's episode: Thai me to the bed post!

          The Girl and I were ready for a crazy night out. What constitutes a crazy night out for us these days, you ask?  Step 1: Leave James Island. This is not one of my favorite things to do. Just contemplating it sends icy fingers of dread deep into my veins to do battle with 30 years of pork fat. Step 2: Invite Mother Hen, The Girl's Mother. Before you get the wrong idea, Mother Hen is not some evil nemesis. She is beautiful, sweet, thoughtful, and a regular reader of this blog. Step 3: Check out 'A Waffle Haus Christmas' at PURE Theater. Step 4: Check out Tasty Thai and Sushi ( on King Street. Oh, yeah, and do this all while hungover.
         I'll save you the recital of the trip (shouldn't you kids be home on break?) or the play (ROTFLMAO) and skip straight to the meal. One thing I have learned from previous trips to Tasty Thai is that one must master the ancient Shao-Lin art of staring at your friends waiting for the server to.....well, whatever it is you want. Whether it be taking your order, bringing you drinks, or serving your food, everything happens in its own time.
         For our starters, all three of us order the Teriyaki Chicken (3 pieces for $6.95), to which we add the Stuffed Shrimp (4 pieces for $6.95) and the Crab Wontons (6 pieces for $5.95). Now you may think that we are crazy for ordering three orders of the Teriyaki Chicken, but that is only because you have never had them. They are marinated in a thick and decadent sauce, skewered, then grilled just long enough to reach the peak of fire roasted wonderfulness. Usually. I don't know if it was having Mother Hen there, or if it was the Geminid Meteor shower, or just a careless prep job, but these were down right bad. The chicken itself was cooked to perfection, then coated in a watery salty mess. The sauce that normally elevates this dish to a must have instead turned it into a salty inedible mess. I even did something my long string of forgotten belts have never seen, I pushed the plate to one side.

       The Stuffed Shrimp are wrapped in a wonton wrapper, stuffed with chicken, and served with sweet and sour sauce. The Shrimp was perfectly fried allowing the chicken to cook and stay juicy without becoming a rubbery mess. A definite palate cleanser after the salt on a stick course. The Crab Wontons were stuffed with a crab, cream cheese, and avocado mixture that was light and pleasing for a deep fried dish.
       For the Sushi round, The Girl chose the Shrimp and Crab Crunch Roll ($7.95). This little gem is crab, tempura flake, mayo, and cream cheese topped by shrimp, crab, and avocado. The balance of flavor here is delicate and thoughtful, applying eel sauce with a delicate hand. As long as you're not looking for spice, this roll is a winner. Normally I would have chosen a spicy roll, but I decided on the Crawfish Salad Roll ($9.95). This roll is crawfish salad, lettuce, avocado, crab, cream cheese, masago, and tempura flakes, also drizzled with eel sauce. I decided on this roll as a lighter option, and it lived up to the billing.  It was light, slightly crunchy, and almost elegant.
         At this point I'm the only one still in the game. I decide on the Chicken Pad Kee Mow ($12.95). This is a spicy blend of flat rice noodles stir fried with fresh garlic, eggs, onions, green peppers, and fresh basil. This is classic Thai cuisine at its best. The heat from the house-grown peppers awaken your taste buds without destroying them. The noodles are fork tender and dripping with a sauce that puts the 'slap' in 'slap your mama.' For those like The Girl, who find spice to be the most despicable evil since Ugg boots, I would suggest the Pad See-Eu ($12.95), which is served in a sweet soy sauce.

        As we bring the dinner to a close, we unfortunately come full circle to the waiting game. From the moment I asked the cookie cutter CofC waitress for a box, till the moment a check was delivered for me to sign, a total of 27 minutes passed. What can one do in 27 minutes? You could play close to two quarters of football. You could watch Joel McHale make fun of the Kardashian Boys on the Soup. You could wash a load of dirty socks. Or you could wait for your check after dinner. I will forgive waiting for good food, but being forced to sit around AFTER the meal is grounds for me to reconsider my next trip.
       Overall, Mother Hen and The Girl enjoyed themselves, and that is what good company will do for even the worst of meals. This meal wasn't the worst, but it did have its moments. Other than the Teriyaki Chicken, which I admit has been excellent on multiple previous visits, the food was excellent. The service, though friendly, was inattentive at best, down right frustrating at worst..
Ambiance: 3/5
Service: 1/5
Food: 6.5/10
Value: 3/5
Overall: 13.5/25 My recommendation? Stay home, watch some Burn Notice, and order your Tasty Thai from Charleston Delivers.

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