Of all the Asian cuisines, Thai food is my favorite. There’s something about its unique ability to marry sweet, sour, spicy, salty, and bitter that really satisfies.
Jasmine Thai Noodle and Barbeque has hit those delicious notes since opening its doors in Saugus in 2005 before relocating to Valencia in 2012. Whether you are craving traditional Thai offerings, such as curry or noodle, or more unique barbecue fare, you won’t be disappointed with the vast offerings at Jasmine Thai.
The menu was created by Paul Mano and his sister Pam, who run the front of house and kitchen respectively. It’s based on recipes they learned from their chef father while growing up near Bangkok and they use imported Thai ingredients whenever possible for authenticity.
“Pam took our family recipes and added her own flair,” Paul Mano said. “We’ve also learned a lot about what our customers like and are happy to cater to their tastes.”
Appetizers include the Golden Square ($7.95), a savory vegan dish that combines deep fried tofu with cucumber, fried shallot and garlic, mixed sesame, scallion, dried chili flake, and tamarind sauce. Jasmine Thai has a fabulous touch with tofu, creating a moist interior and perfectly crisp exterior that cradles the tangy sauce within its nooks and crannies.
For a fresh start to your meal, the Som-Tam ($10.95) is a feast for the senses, delightfully melding piquant shredded young papaya and carrots tossed with tart lime juice, crunchy peanuts, and succulent grilled shrimp.
On the barbecue side, the classic satays are stellar, but for something a little different, the Sriracha Barbecue Ribs ($11.25) are a standout, with bite-sized pork rib pieces slow roasted until the meat falls off the bone. The fork-tender meat is glazed with a spicy, sweet Sriracha sauce for a melt-in-your-mouth experience.
I’m a sucker for anything with a fried egg, and the Kao Kra Pow ($10.95) here is awesome. This Thai street-food favorite combines stir-fried peppers with your choice of meat or more that crispy tofu, paired with a tower of steamed rice and a perfectly cooked egg. Cut everything up and toss it with the little trough of vinegar chili sauce served on the side and voila, you’ve got Asian style comfort food with a pepper-packed punch.
Noodles here are fabulous, whether you go with my favorite, the Pad Kee Mow ($10.25), a tangle of thick, slippery rice noodles spiced with fresh Thai chili, onion, tomato, and basil, or the popular Choa Phraya Pad Thai Topped with Egg ($12.25), which features thin rice noodles stir fried in a slightly sweet brown sauce with red onion, chili powder, crushed peanuts, and chicken and shrimp, then topped with a thin, lacey yellow omelet.
While Jasmine Thai does a lot of delivery and takeout business, the food is best enjoyed in, served piping hot with a smile. The big leather booths are comfy and the large water fountain in the front sets a Zen vibe that you can feel through the modern, yet warm restaurant.
Weekends can be rather packed at Jasmine Thai, so consider coming in during the week or for lunch, where you can get one of the best deals in town, with several choices of curry, noodles, and stir fries, plus green salad, egg roll, steamed rice and your choice of soft drink or a refreshing Thai iced tea (blend of black tea and condensed milk) for just $9.95.
And if you want to substitute something or can’t find what you’re craving, just ask for Paul, who’s always there and eager to please.
“It means a lot to us that people have liked our food and service for so long. We’ll do whatever we can to make them happy,” he said. Jasmine Thai Noodle & BBQ is located at 23360 Valencia Blvd., Valencia. Open Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Friday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call (661) 254-2012 or visit jasminethainoodleandbbq.com