“I love you,” he said softly. I looked up at my husband from the other side of the kitchen island on New Year’s Day.
But he wasn’t looking at me. Instead, he was whispering sweet nothings to the panang curry with chicken ($14.99) that we’d ordered from Thai Chefs at the corner of Seco Canyon and Copper Hill.
The adultation didn’t offend me, because I love the restaurant’s panang curry, too. For those who’ve never tried, the curry is a thick sweet and spicy sauce with coconut milk, carrots, bell peppers with peanuts (not found in Thai red or green curried dishes). While panang is supposed to less spicy, it’s usually got a little kick. Thai Chefs’ mild offering is borderline too spicy to my other half.
Because it was New Year’s Day, we added a long noodle dish pad see ew ($12.99) — a stir fry with broccoli, chicken, thin broad noodles and a sweeter soy sauce — for good luck.
While the prices for the a la carte dishes may seem a little high, the portions were healthy enough for at least two separate meals for two people. Open since 2011, Thai Chefs has become our go-to Thai destination in the SCV, and we’ll be back for takeout as much as we can during the pandemic to help ensure it stays around much longer.
Manee House, the Thai restaurant that used to be located near Mulligans on Tournament Road and McBean, moved to an incongruous spot a few years back. It’s now located in the Western-themed storefront along Lyons Avenue (between Wayman and Arcadia), where parking is a little more difficult, but more importantly, the food is still as good as ever.
A sure bet is hitting up Manee House during the lunch hours, where you seriously can’t beat the lunch special prices. I recently went to Manee House to celebrate a co-worker’s last day, and the total for the five of us, who each got a special and just water, came out to $30.50—not including the tip.
There are two types of lunch specials at the restaurant: The Power Lunches ($6.95) come with a small appetizer (either an egg roll or fried tofu), soup and salad, steamed rice and an entree from a list. It’s a lot of food—great if you’re really hungry. (Tip: The egg roll isn’t all that: It’s deep fried blandness.)
For $2 less, we recommend skipping the appetizers and sides and getting right to the entrees, which is where Manee House shines. Most of the entrees come with a choice of chicken, tofu or beef. On our most recent trip, two friends ordered Pad See You (Pan fried flat rice noodle, egg, black bean sauce, broccoli), one with beef and the other order with tofu; someone ordered the semi-spicy Panang curry (red curry, coconut milk, pea carrot, bell pepper) and upgraded to brown rice; I wanted spice so I ordered the Pad Kaprow (stir fried garlic, chilli, onion, bell pepper, basil) with chicken, and I upgraded to egg fried rice; the last person ordered a chicken/veggie stir fry with no rice.
I’ve had the Pad See You numerous times, it’s perfect when you’re in the mood for a hearty noodle dish with a touch of sweetness (though not as sweet as a Pad Thai). The Panang is another one of my favorites with a zesty red curry that’s awesome over rice. While I took leftovers home (too good to leave behind), everyone else cleaned their plates. Par for the course at Manee House lunch.
Because everything’s cooked to order and there’s usually only one waiter working, it can get a little slow if it’s busy. Make sure you have time to spare if you choose Manee House for lunch.
Oh yeah and one other negative: With our full bellies, we had to fight off the urge to nap back at the office. It wasn’t easy.
Lunch specials are available 11 am-3 pm, Monday through Friday. Holidays not included.
If you can’t find parking right out front on Lyons, there’s a parking lot in the back. Turn at Arcadia.
It’s open until 10 pm, Monday-Saturday, and 9 pm on Sundays.