The biggest contributor to flyer clutter in my house comes from the Thai Restaurants on Lincoln Boulevard. I don't know why it is that Santa Monica Thai restaurants feel they must tell me every week on brightly colored paper the size on my entire body, that they can bring pad thai to my door. The irony is that most of the pad thai and yellow and red curries are nothing to write home about. The dishes range from uninspiring to sickly sweet and usually leave me with an Asian hangover that I prefer getting from too much Singha.
Then I heard, not read from a neon flyer slid between my door, about a new plant based Thai vegan restaurant on Lincoln called Sadtha. I usually get nervous when people deprive me of a food group, but in the name of research, and a hope to get some more drawer space back, I set out to learn.
Satdha is in the old Ameci space, ie., not a large or glamorous area, but it's all about the food, so one night I ate in, and 1 night carried out. The benefit of eating in is that you receive complimentary kale chips to start - a crisp and healthy start.
The waitresses were all beyond pleasant, happy to be working there, and happy to recommend a plethora of fabulous sounding dishes like the Meang Kham which included a large piece of leafy chard embracing cashews, shredded coconut, shiitake, lime, ginger, flavored with an herb tamarind chutney. While dubious, I was amazed at how much flavor was packed in between that lovely green.
I usually steer clear of food listed in air quotes like endive cups with "cashew-tuna," but there was too much enthusiasm on it from the waitress to say no. I just about crossed off the "tuna" from the menu after I tried it because I wouldn't say it tasted like tuna (thank goodness), but you could definitely taste the cashew and there were fresh flavors punching it up with the coconut, ginger, lemongrass, cilantro and thai chili lime. Unique and satisfying.
The Catfish Eggplant should have either read "Catfish" Eggplant, or just battered eggplant with red curry paste, bell peppers, corn and Thai basil. The eggplant doesn't need the word catfish because this is a perfectly acceptable vegetable (or rather fruit) to stand on its own. I got this one to takeout and I think it would have been more enjoyable served fresh and crisp right out of the kitchen.
We had to try the pad thai and this version can hold its head high next to its siblings on Lincoln, or perhaps even higher, since Satdha uses organic, non-GMO ingredients.
The Kow Mun Kai was a unique preparation with a mound of garlic - shallot flavored brown rice served in the middle of the plate. Surrounding it was grilled king trumpet mushrooms, yuba, green onions, cucumber and a lovely chili flavored fermented black bean sauce. You do all the mixing yourself or for those that don't like when their food touches, you can put together the exact bite you like. Again, unique, fresh tasting and delicious.
The Prik King contained crisp green beans in a slightly sweet red curry paste with kefir lime and crunchy Thai basil. A worthy vegetables side to eat with your, uh yes, other vegetables.
I'm thrilled to have this healthy, $12 a dish and under plant based Thai restaurant in Santa Monica. I now have some throwing away to do.