Oklahoma City, OK
Bistro 38 Thai Green Cuisine is not the first Thai restaurant to operate in this location, and I believe the change occurred in 2014. The previous restaurant was owned by Sala Thai, although it was apparently operated independently. Bistro 38 is still the same kind of small family run restaurant that I believe was here before, and I think this is a big reason for the positive reviews I have read for both restaurants.
Most of the dine-in customers seem to come at lunch, and otherwise it relies largely on take-out orders. It had a comfortable dining room, I enjoyed the music, and the service was good. The menu was not huge but it looked as if it had several good choices. Outwardly it was very much like the typical strip mall Thai restaurants I find around the city.
One positive about Bistro 38 was that it did not have the Americanized sweet flavor that I find at a number of Thai restaurants. I have only tried a small sample of the dishes here, but I definitely think this is one of the better Thai restaurants in town.
Although the dinner menu is priced well compared to other Thai restaurants, lunch is even more of a bargain. Lunch Specials give you one item (noodles or fried rice) while the Lunch Combo gives you four (the main item which is either curry or pad basil, veggie pad thai, steamed rice, and a veggie spring roll). The menu says no substitutions are allowed, but they did let me get a double portion of the pad thai and delete the spring roll (I am mentioning this mainly to explain why the photo above includes an extra large serving of pad thai).
The choices on the Lunch Combo are good: the Panang Curry is one that I liked and my waitress said was one of the best choices. I definitely had a “happy meal” with this selection (to borrow a phrase I frequently see at Japanese restaurants).
Pad Prik King
The Pad Prik King had a good sauce (curry without the coconut milk), crispy green beans, and tofu with a good texture (I ordered the vegetarian version). I found this version to be similar to the ones at several other restaurants (and this is a good thing). The dish was made the right way, and I did not have any complaints.
I did learn, though, not to be timid about the spice scale here (they have a one to four “level of spiciness” and I think about two and a half is the minimum I want to order on this type of dish–this would be equivalent to about two at most other restaurants).
Pad See Ew
I had a sample of the Pad See Ew, a noodle dish with chicken and broccoli. I thought the chicken was very good, the broccoli was crispy (not quite as good a thing to me as the green beans being prepared this way), and the noodles were good. Overall the dish did not seem to have much flavor, though. This was much the same as I have found at most Thai restaurants, but I keep looking for the few who can make noodle dishes more flavorful. They will give you fish sauce for additional flavor, and this certainly helps. Still, although it was good, this was not a five-star dish for me.
The Thai Tea was very good. The fact that it was milky on top and dark at the bottom was also a good sign that this drink is legit.
Bistro 38 has a good Green Tea Ice Cream for dessert (and I enjoyed it more because the food itself was not too sweet). Also this is one of the restaurants where I do not spend all my money on a meal so that a dessert would be unaffordable (I can say, though, that the meals are pretty filling).
Pad prik king is usually a “test dish” for me, and I thought it was done the right way. Although the Panang curry was equally good, the pad see ew and the pad thai seemed lacking in Thai flavors.
When I have asked the waitresses about the best dishes, though, they have been very honest and accurate in their answers. I think most restaurants tend to stand or fall on their best dishes, and here it is easy to find out what they are.
Hours: Closed Mon.
Smoking: No smoking
Most Recent Visit: Feb. 2, 2017
Number of Visits: 2
Best Items: Panang Curry, Pad Prik King
Asian Food Details
|Pad Prik King|
|Pad See Ew|
|Veggie Pad Thai|
|Green Tea Ice Cream|
Menu (Feb. 2017):