My girlfriend and I walked over on a prime Saturday evening around 8:00pm. We had a short 10-15 minute wait but were able to sit at the bar and we both got drinks. The bartender was both knowledgeable and attentive. I tried the CO Singapore sling which was better then average. If there are no seats available at the bar then you have to kind of awkwardly wait against a wall behind the people sitting at the bar. After our brief wait we were seated at the top of the stairs. Overall they have a number of small 2 top tables for couples, 1 small section of couch seating maybe for 4-5 people and a number of community tables which is probably why people don't ever seem of have to wait very long despite the restaurant being busy.
We started with the pork and ginger gyoza ($5) and the crispy pork and crab spring rolls ($6) which were both phenomenal. The dumplings were some of the best in town and the spring rolls were crispy, delicious and not the least bit greasy.
For our entrees I ordered the beef pho ($12) and my girlfriend ordered the pad thai ($14). The pho came out steaming hot with perfectly rare beef slices. It was well seasoned and came with a side of sriarcha like chili sauce to spice it up a little if desired. The pad thai was on par with Basil's. I think they're both delicious and I wouldn't be able to pick one over the other.
The only sour spot was the service. Our server was very rude, dismissive and inattentive. I thought that perhaps this was an isolated incident however the table beside of ours was having a similar experience with a different server. I was a little disappointed because in my opinion having excellent food is usually the hard part, having a friendly well managed staff should be the easy part.
Overall the food was wonderful and I will definitely go back even if its just for takeout!
Overall: a solid, rich menu in a very cool space without a huge price tag
I went as part of a trio on Saturday; 8pm no problem getting a seat (that won't last) but there was a solid crowd. There's no hostess station, you sorta meander upstairs if you don't want to sit at the bar. The music was quite loud downstairs, for better or worse, and permeated upstairs. I think they've mounted their subwoofers in the ceiling above the bar, which makes the benches upstairs vibrate. This might not be a negative.
Our server was knowledgeable about the menu, saying that they'd taken time to familiarize the staff with all the dishes. That was good. In addition to reasonably-priced (for Charleston) wine by the glass and bottle, they have several draughts (Westbrook White Thai, Kirin Ichiban, etc...) as well as interesting cocktails. I got this gin with ginger martini. DRINK THIS, but especially with your food.
Speaking of food: the 5-spice Pork Banh Mi is slap-your-momma, ridiculously good. The edamame spring rolls, shrimp dumplings, tofu and curry noodles are very good. The Vietnamese ramen bowl is just okay, but not anything that would sully the otherwise very good meal. I think its failing where the others succeeded so well was that it lacked any distinct, fresh-veggie/herb taste that leapt from the other dishes. The menu is great for sharing within a group, which we did.
With drinks and probably too much food for three, our bill was $24/person with tax, plus tip. Not bad.
They're getting lunch hours very soon (maybe already) as well as local delivery soon.
We eat here a few times a month and it's consistently good. The biggest downside is the smell of the grocery store, which ranges from "interesting" to "oh my god I'm gonna hurl!" I have tried nearly everything on the menu and keep coming back to P1 and H3. Their goi cuon are the best I have had in Charleston. Be extremely careful when ordering because the woman who works there has a hard time distinguishing between the sounds of "B" and "P". Your best bet is to point to it on the menu so you can be sure. She's better in French than English so that's another option.
I keep going back. Today, for lunch, I started with the wonderful Thai-style hot wings that were dripping with a SPICY red pepper sauce. As a main dish I jumped into a plate of Thai-hot stir-fried basil with chicken and brown sauce. Excellent. The brown sauce by itself would be a great dish. My dining partner, not the most adventurous diner, opted for the veggie fried rice and declared it the BEST in the Charleston area. And believe me, she has sampled that dish in almost every Asian restaurant around. This place is in the same strip center as the new Kohl's in West Ashley (across the street from Home Depot). Go. Try. You'll love it.
WOW! Chicken Pad Prik spiced up to "Thai Hot". Perfectly prepared dish with red and green peppers, onions and a terrific brown sauce. This was a 2 napkin dinner; not for the hands or face but for the runny nose. I'll be back. No more trips downtown or off island for me. James Island is very fortunate to have this fine dining establishment.
But, alas, Quyen is closed.
Not the ONLY place for Pho in Charleston, but out of the two choices, pretty delicious. Quyen's Pho is better.
The best and now only place for delicious pho.
awesome, i have tried 4 different items on the menu and each one was amazing! they are very friendly, just make sure to bring cash!! Best place for a unaxpensive, delicious and healthy lunch or dinner.
I have now eaten here on two occasions and been impressed with the dishes that I have ordered. My last trip here I enjoyed Pad Thai. It was prepared perfectly, the peanuts on the side so that you added as little or as much as you wanted. The spices were perfect the right blend, this is what Pad Thai is supposed to taste like. I really wonder why people are still waiting in line at the other Thai restaurant downtown. At least here you can taste the seasoning in the meats (they don't pre-cook the meats).
I know I'll be going back here again!
I haven't been to the King St location, but we ate last night at Basil in Mt. Pleasant. We were also taken aback at the inability to make reservations (they informed us they only made reservations for parties of eight or more), and though we arrived at 7 pm, we had a 30 min. wait. The bar upstairs was great, however.
The food and service was terrific, but we wished we had stayed upstairs and eaten at the bar - the restaurant was so loud we (and our server) had to shout to be heard. Horrible! I know some people like that kind of atmosphere but this was painful. We'll be going back for the food - we'll just eat upstairs at the bar.
Susieg: Ever hear of Spoletto? Maybe that is why this "gem" was jam packed on a Sunday.
Basil does not take reservations and so we thought if we got there before 7:00 we might not have to wait. Not so much. The restaurant was packed and there was a 20-25 minute wait. When asked if we preferred outside seating to inside we said that it didn’t matter and our time was moved up a bit. While window shopping our way through King Street the phone rang and our table was ready.
We were seated at one of the six four-tops outside the restaurant. Small planter boxes and Tiki torches adorn the patio (and help to keep the bugs away!) I thought it was going to be very warm with the heat wave we’ve been having, but much to my surprise there was a lovely breeze and it was a wonderful way to people watch as we waited for our server to arrive.
Our server was very attentive, but not intrusive. He was easily able to answer questions about the menu and made a few suggestions as well. We ordered our appetizer of Fresh Basil Rolls and continued to peruse the menu.
In sleuthing their website this morning not only is Chef Suntorn an accomplished chef, but he has also traveled the globe. His career started in Bangkok, Thailand and he has worked in England, Paris, United Arab Emirate, Miami, San Francisco and Boston. The site doesn’t say how he landed here in Charleston, but we’re just glad he did.
In a bat of an eye our appetizer arrived and we placed our dinner order. The Fresh Basil Rolls were simple and beautiful. The “house sauce” was a spicy sweet concoction (Chef Suntorn’s house sauce) with ground fresh ginger floating on top. The Basil Rolls were delicate and had an incredible fresh flavor that was only enhanced when dipped in the sauce. I hoped that dinner would be just as good. The website said that all of the dishes and sauces are not made ahead of time but are authentic and made from scratch. We could really taste the difference.
Our entrees arrived after we had finished the Basil Rolls and had a few minutes to relax. Perfectly timed, our server delivered the Pad Thai and Crispy Red Curry Duck.
From the website I learned that Pad Thai is the national dish of Thailand. Who knew? It is rice noodles stir-fried with chicken, shrimp, eggs, bean sprouts, scallions and a Pad Thai sauce. On the plate as a garnish was freshly shredded cabbage, carrots and cilantro with a lime wedge for good measure.
Having lived in Boston for many years and many bad winters the need for “lunch delivered” was paramount. Often times we ordered “Chinese” and there was a Pad Thai option, which in no way even remotely resembled what I was served that evening. My dish, which I asked for a little spicy was exquisite. Not greasy, not oily, with fresh ingredients and a flavor that just jumped off the plate.
My husband is a big duck fan and Basil’s Crispy Red Curry Duck more than met the mark. Listed on the menu as Chef Suntorn’s Signature Dish it was a boneless half duck that is deep fried with vegetables and red curry sauce. It is also served with a small container of freshly steamed white rice that was very, very hot.
The duck was tender and the dish overall was one of the best duck dishes that he’s ever tasted. Both of us were full quickly, but continued to graze a bit before throwing in the towel. I am a tad embarrassed to admit that some of my Pad Thai was a breakfast reheat this morning…
I had originally said that I wanted to scout out Charleston’s hidden restaurant gems when I started my blog. Although based on the crowd and the waiting line, I am late in this discovery, but nonetheless, Basil is a gem. Look for their third location to open in Mount Pleasant this summer. I know we’re looking forward to it.
I enjoyed Basil on my last visit. The Pad Prik was nice and spicy and the soup was cluttered with chicken and had a great coconut hint to it. I will definitely return, and am looking forward to the Mount Pleasant location opening. One thing is for sure, it is rather boisterous in there (in the bad context loud).
We LOVE Pattaya. They make a Chicken Country Soup that heals every cold I get. The atmosphere isn't much but the food is fantastic!!
I brought my friend here to celebrate her bday and introduce her to Thai food and it was perfect! My mom is from Thailand and this food was just like I get from her house or the Buddhist temple she goes to!
We ordered mild Chicken Larb (a ground meat salad over rice) that was so good I couldn't stop eating it even after I was full! It has a lot of cilantro and red onion and comes with cabbage and cucumbers. We also had mild Chicken Pad Thai which was so delicious I didn't even mind the peanuts that I usually don't have on it. For appetizers we had pork spring rolls (they use the best wrapper - rice, not egg) and Chicken Dim Sum that came with a super yummy dipping sauce. For dessert we had sticky rice drizzled with coconut milk and the ripest mango pieces I have seen in a long time.
All of that food came in big enough portions to share AND come away with leftovers and the final bill was about $40. The service was great and I will definitely be bringing my mom there when she visits!
My partner and I went to Tasty Thai last Fall and had a wonderful time. The service was a tad slow but not inattentive and the food was surprisingly good. We picked up a Restaurant.com gift certificate and headed there on 2/22/11. I'm sorry we did. The food was missing key ingredients, the service was a schizophrenic blend of apathetic and combative, the prices far too high, and the music much, much too loud.
I went on Sunday night with a friend, crazy busy, as always it seems. Had some soup and the fried duck, everything was excellent. It is hard to find better Thai food in the area.
We went on a Tuesday evening at about 5:30pm, so the place was not crowded. However, our waitress treated us like she & the restaurant were slammed...she rushed us taking our order & also through the entire meal. In the beginning, when I asked for a recommendation, she said "oh, that's a personal choice." well, DUH, but a good waitress can always tell a customer what dishes are the most popular, or what THEIR favorite is! This waitress also whizzed by & swept our appetizer plate off the table without even asking if we were done. I commented to my boyfriend, "Well, I guess she decided we were done with that!". My garlic chicken was Super Duper UBER garlicky (I love garlic, but WHOA!) & also it was very very salty, so I didnt enjoy it that much. My boyfriend said his basil chicken was decent, but nothing to rant & rave about. The rice in the pot was very dry, like it had been sitting under a heat lamp. This waitress then came by to ask us if we needed anything else, (so...I guess not?!) WHILE whipping out the already printed up bill. After bringing the credit card receipt back, she then came back by the table before we had even left and grabbed the receipt off of the table! We have eaten here before, maybe a couple of years ago, and recalled it being good, enjoyable & affordable, but I believe that things are on the decline....or at least our experience made it seem that way. Bottom line: Rushed service and mediocre food (and about a $50 tab for 2!) do not entice us to make a return trip or recommend it to others.
I had the tom yum koong soup and the nam sod salad with pork, and my boyfriend had the ba mee pad noodles with chicken and a Thai iced tea. Everything was delicious and the service was great, but I took off one star because I think it was a bit pricey ($34). We will definitely return.
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