by Marilyn MeredithPorterville has none of the big name chain restaurants, but it does have a few gems of small owner-operated eateries. One of these—and my favorite—is the Thai Kitchen, a little hole in the wall place at 951 W. Henderson, on the north end of town right off the 65 freeway. It’s located in a strip mall with a barbershop on one side, and another family owned restaurant, Rosa’s, on the other.
Today I want to talk about the Thai Kitchen. I’ve eaten in several Thai restaurants in other parts of the state, even one in Alaska, but in my opinion, this is the best one. We always order the Thai iced tea, which is a mixture of strong tea and coconut milk. Once it’s stirred together, it’s a great drink.
Their fresh vegetable spring rolls are wonderful served with a special sweet and sour sauce. Both the mango salad and the green apple salad are enough for a meal
One of my husband’s favorites (I like it too) is the Thai BBQ Chicken. It’s half a chicken unlike any barbecue you’ve ever had before—delicious.
Thai Kitchen Fried Rice has a bit of everything in it: chicken breast, shrimp, eggs, carrots, onions, pineapple, cashew nuts and green onion. Makes for a great meal in itself, or a side dish to share. Another great side dish is the Drunken Noodles. I’m not sure how the noodles are seasoned; just take my word for it, they are wonderful.
My son and his wife always order the Pad Thai, which consists of fried rice noodles, tofu, eggs, bean sprouts and green onions, topped with crushed peanuts and cilantro and Beef Panang Curry—way too hot for me, but they love it.
Sometimes I just want a big bowl of soup and they make a couple that I really like. My favorite is Tom Yum with lemon grass, kalenka, tomato, kiffer leaves, onion, basil, fresh mushrooms, green onions and cilantro. I have no idea what kalenka and kiffer leaves are, but together this is a wonderful tasting soup. If I’m sick, it’s better than what the doctor ordered. I also like the Tom Jeud, which has lots of vegetables and bean thread noodles.
That’s just a small sampling of what’s on the menu.
The Thai Kitchen is open 7 days a week, 10:30 to 9 p.m. They also do take-out, 559. 783.1640.