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Antique Thai Cuisine – Proving Strip Mall Gems Do Exist!

These last couple of years have been packed with traveling either for work or for leisure, domestically and overseas.  It was during these trips that I have come to realize that I have truly become a spoiled San Diegan.

What I mean is that I really do consider the weather to be “cold” at around 65-70 degrees.  Now, when I look back at the weather we’ve been having just this past winter, most of the rest of the US of A would say that 65 degrees was their warm weather.

I have lived in the East coast long enough to remember what it feels like to have 4 full season occurring when they should.  Where there were true extremes in weather during the summer and winter (which I was reminded of when I made a trip to Maryland in late Fall last year – caught the tail end of a hurricane.  Forgot it is possible for rain to pour on you 48+ hours straight).

After living in San Diego the last 14 years of my life, going to school and college here, I guess I can consider myself somewhat of a native.  I can admit without shame that I have become soft, sissy who is severely adverse to the cold.  Oddly enough, our heater and A/C have been out of commission for the last 10-12 years (can’t remember when it exactly gave up on us) and should probably fix.  One day perhaps…until then, I have found ways to keep myself warm during the “cold” San Diego winters and nights.  From sweaters, wool jackets, fleece blankets, beanies, to one of my favorite…

CURRY!!!!!

Oh how I love curry!  My favorite is the Green Curry with (preferably) mock duck.  To those not familiar with mock duck, it is a gluten-based vegetarian meat alternative that’s high in protein due to the wheat gluten.  I grew up on mock duck and just plainly lots and LOTS of wheat gluten items in my Chinese dishes.  So this is right at home for me.

Back to curry!  I like my curries to be SPICY, as I am a gluten for spicy foods.  On a scale of 1 to 10 on spiciness, I can handle a 10, but I generally like to keep it between 6-8 (depending on the restaurant).  I think my love of spicy foods is because the spices open up all my taste buds, so the flavors of the dish are intensified.

And what better dish to have millions of your little taste buds up and at’ ‘em?  Curry!!  I was curious to what generally goes into green curry that is made from scratch and I found that it typically has around 15 ingredients to just make the sauce! This is why you must have every single, last taste bud ready to receive them all!

The curry that I am now thinking of as I write this post is from Antique Thai Cuisine in Loma Portal, right off Rosecrans St.  It sits discreetly in a strip mall with Henry’s Marketplace and TJ Maxx.  I would have never found it had I not been researching for dinner spots near the Sports Arena.

The restaurant was nice and clean, the service has been good (little slow but very friendly staff), and the food is superb and very affordable.

On my first visit with CP, we had an order of their Spring Rolls:

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These were ok, the skin was too think to my liking.  The filling was just lettuce, carrots, vermicelli, and a minuscule amount of pork.  It felt store bought to me so nothing to write home about.  Ordered it once and it will be more than enough.

Our entrees on the other hand saved the dinner!

CP ordered the Drunken Noodles with chicken:

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I loved the noodles here!  The wide, flat rice noodles had beautiful coloring to them and rested with lots of crispy vegetables including – cabbage, bean sprouts, bell peppers, Thai basil and topped with cilantro.  I had to stop myself from consuming too much of CP’s dish because there was still my own dish to be had…

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I ordered the Green Curry with mock duck.  Just thinking about it now makes me hungry!  The curry was heavenly…velvety, coconuty, with a touch of sweetness and a great spicy kick!  The curry came with bamboo, green bean, bell peppers, and Thai basil. It also comes with a big bowl of rice that can be shared between 2 diners.  Safe to say…I am willing to share, but I did finish 99% this curry on my own. 🙂

The entrees were about $8-10 and the appetizer was only $4.99.  So for less than $25, two people walked out of the restaurant full and completely satisfied, ready to rock on at the Sports Arena!

I also looked at their lunch specials and they are ridiculously low priced!  Only wish I could make it out here for lunch.

All in all…I find that even if the rest of my body’s frozen to the touch, if my belly’s filled with delicious, spicy curry, I will be sufficiently kept warm…even if it’s all in my head.

Antique Thai Cuisine
3373 Rosecrans Street
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 222-0689

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