When you walk into Thai House in southwest Bakersfield, you immediately feel like you are entering someone’s house. It makes sense after all – mothers, daughters, sons, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins all make up the staff, and the family’s knick-knacks and dishes are presented in a cabinet. Since 2006, this family atmosphere has been the objective of Thai House.
Co-owner Ning Panjajom said the restaurant opened at a time when there were two other Thai restaurants in town. Wanting to offer local residents another place to try authentic Thai cuisine, the family decided to take the plunge. Today, 15 years later, they have made a name for themselves and have accumulated loyal customers who vote for them in the annual Best Of guide.
No matter what you order from Thai House – be it a soup, an appetizer or a popular dish – you will be able to taste the authentic flavors and passion that characterize every dish. The spices pair beautifully and add a unique touch, but customers can choose their level of spices on many dishes. Vegan options are also available. There is something for everyone at Thai House, and guests are treated like family every time they come home.
Soup and curry
Julie Mana-ay Perez on the seafood soup: Growing up in an Asian family, we had many seafood dishes on our table. Tasting this dish reminded me of my grandmother’s cooking. Thai House’s seafood soup had so much flavor and meat of shrimp, fake crab, shellfish and more. It was really hard not to finish this dish on your own!
Ema Sasic on Seafood Soup: There’s a little bit of everything in this soup, and the flavors combine so well to give you a rich broth with a kick out of it. The mix of seafood offerings – shrimp, fish, mussels, imitation crab meat – along with mushrooms and other herbs make for a hearty and filling meal. But be sure to save room for other goodies!
Pumpkin curry from Thai House.
JMP on pumpkin curry: Whenever I eat Thai food I try to stay away from spicy foods because I can’t stand the heat, but this pumpkin curry dish was different. The spice wasn’t overwhelming and the curry wasn’t too thick so all the flavors blended well. To get the ultimate taste, I poured pumpkin curry over my white rice.
ES on pumpkin curry: This pumpkin curry was a bit spicy for me at first, but the nice aftertaste you have left over makes up for it. The red curry paste base is cooked with coconut milk, giving you that subtle sweet taste. Serve it over white rice and you have a delicious meal that’s perfect for all seasons.
ES on green beans: I love green beans and this dish kept me sautéing for seconds and thirds. Green beans are sautéed with peppers, carrots and basil leaves in a special spicy Thai sauce that gives them the perfect crunch. Our dish was topped with tender beef.
JMP on green beans: What I love about Thai House is that they take simple ingredients and take them to the next level. This green bean dish was filled with crunchy but soft green beans, tender beef, and other delicious veggies. Pair it with a side of rice and go crazy!
Pad Thai with shrimps at Thai House.
ES on the pad thai: I tried the pad thai at another restaurant, but it didn’t leave a big impression on me. Thai House’s, however, was astronomically better. The slight peanut taste you get makes this version stand out. Thai House knows exactly how to nail the subtle flavors.
JMP on the pad thai: If there’s one thing everyone knows about me, it’s that I love pad thai so much that I have eaten it at every Thai restaurant in Bakersfield so far. This dish is as good as I remember it when I ate it for the first time. This dish is filled with soft noodles, tender shrimp, peanuts, carrots and bean sprouts accompanied by green limes for a tangy taste. You can order your pad thai with chicken, shrimp or tofu.
Desserts and drinks
Popular dessert from Thai House, mango and sweet sticky rice.
Mango JMP with Sweet Sticky Rice: This was my first time eating mango with sticky rice and it did not disappoint. The mango was soft and smooth when I first bit into it, and the sticky rice was topped with coconut milk – the perfect combination of the two. It’s easy to say this was one of my favorite desserts.
ES on mango with sweet sticky rice: It was the perfect dessert to end our excellent meal. You get a naturally sweet flavor from the mangoes that mixes so well with the coconut milk topped with the rice. Julie and I gobbled up that very quickly.
Thai iced tea from Thai House.
JMP on Thai iced tea: As much as I love pad thai, I might as well believe that I am a fan of Thai iced tea. It was sweet, creamy and so refreshing. It’s the perfect drink for any lunch or dinner occasion.
ES on Thai iced tea: Every time I took a sip of this iced tea, I fell more in love with the flavor. Not too sweet, not bitter and perfectly creamy. I wish I had five more!
Ema Sasic can be reached at 661-395-7392. Follow her on Twitter: @ema_sasic.