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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chitralada Thai (Pembroke Pines)

     When visiting Los Angeles and New York, I loved finding random hole in the wall restaurants that made amazing food.  However, when you try to do that in Florida it somehow never works out as well...  Though I always want to say, never judge a restaurant by its exterior and only by its food; there's something weird about Florida....that or I'm cursed when I randomly pick out places to eat.  I'm not sure what it is about Florida, but I've been burned 90% of the time trying random mom and pop restaurants.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating huge chains either.  I feel as if those large chains are basically eating alive all the potential and wonderful small businesses.  I'm not sure how to explain it, it's just how Florida tends to be.


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Thai Iced Tea
     Anyways, we stopped by a Thai restaurant on Pines Boulevard because one of my friends wanted to try it out since he had been craving Thai food and he had passed it on the road several times before.  Chitralada Thai has a very unassuming store front and to be honest I was a little scared just looking at the exterior and the surroundings.  As I've said before, I haven't known Florida to be very "random restaurant" friendly.  I think we actually stood outside the store front for about 10 minutes debating whether or not we wanted to go in or not.  ^_^()  Eventually we decided to give it a go!


     The owner's of the restaurant were very pleasant as they greeted us and sat our party at a nearby table.  They were more than happy to answer any questions we had about the menu.  My friends suggested/insisted that I try a Thai iced tea.  This was my first Thai iced tea too!  It was lightly sweetened, so you were still able to taste the flavor of the tea itself (It's an ongoing theme for me, how I <3 not being in a sugar induced coma).  I loved the subtle                                                                           creaminess that the tea had.


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     The chicken satay (on the left) was a simply skewered chicken simply grilled to perfection.  I was surprised the chicken was cooked well, most of the time I'm accustomed to getting dry chicken at restaurants (which is why I don't order it often).  We also ordered the larb gai appetizer, a dish of spicy ground chicken with lemon juice, onion, pepper, and lettuce.  The larb gai was another great dish, bringing together savory and sour in harmony.


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     I think the only misstep of the evening was the mee grob (crispy noodles on the left).  I'm such a sucker for crispy things!  It was suppose to bed a crispy noodle dish with shrimp and a Thai sauce.  However the sauce it was covered in was too sweet and it really overpowered any other possible flavors in the dish.  The noodles stayed crispy which was a definite plus, however the sauce really killed the dish for me.  The pad woon sen (on the right) was a stir fried clear noodle with chicken, onion, bell pepper, carrot, baby corn, and mushroom.  That on the other hand was pretty delicious. =)


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     We also ordered the Chitralada garlic beef (left - lean marinated beef slices, sautéed with vegetables on a sizzling plate) and a red curry.  Like everything else before it, the beef was cooked very well.  The red curry was well spiced and the only fault I could find in it was that it was a little thin.


     Rice was served with all our dishes.  One of the owners came by with a huge bowl of rice every now and then to ask if we wanted more rice. ^_^  Overall our meal was really pleasant and I was ecstatic to find a "diamond in the rough."  Good food is often hard to come by and Chitralada Thai really did prepare a great meal and for a good price as our check was about $50 to feed 4 people.  Our group was really pleased with our meal and we hope Chitralada continues to serve great Thai food to the community for years to come!


Chitralada Thai
Pembroke Pines
7908 Pines Blvd
(954) 964-7655
Chitralada Thai & Burmese on Urbanspoon

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