We'd been meaning to try Golden Thai (which we knew as "the other Thai restaurant in Alameda") for quite a while. We often passed it on the way to Amarin Thai and we thought one day we should try it. Finally, I got a buy-one-entree-get-one-free coupon for the restaurant in my Entertainment book, and as I am in a savings mood lately, we headed there last Friday night (Jan. 2002).
There isn't much to the atmosphere of Golden Thai so I won't try to describe it - suffice it to say that it looks like your average Thai restaurant, nice but not special. Service was also nondescript. A little bit lacking, in that Mike did not have a fork on the table when the appetizers were served and the waiter did not appear back until he was about to bring the entrees - but still OK.
The food, however, was the real disappointment. Golden Thai describes itself as "California Thai Cuisine" and while I'm not sure what that is, what it meant for us was that the menu lacked most of our favorite dishes. There was no sweet musaman curry, no panang beef or chicken (though they do serve panang seafood) and even satay only came with chicken - no beef. On the plus side for those who like those things, the menu has plenty of seafood dishes and several vegetarian choices.
We finally decided on an order of Chicken Satay ($6.95), Praram Chicken ($7.95) and Grilled Honey Beef ($7.95). The chicken satay order came with 5 skewers, which I thought was appropriate given the price. Unfortunately the chicken was pretty tasteless and perhaps a tad underdone, and the smooth, gummy peanut sauce tasted like it came out of a bottle.
The entrees were not much better. My grilled honey beef tasted of cheap meat and nothing else, there was not even a hint of honey. Mike's praram chicken was pretty tasteless as well; there was no spiciness in the sauce and it seemed that the chicken had not been cooked in it (as it had not soaked in any of the flavor). We were both very disappointed and would certainly not order these dishes again. On the plus side, they were both very nicely presented, even if they were identically garnished.
To be fair, we have friends who like this restaurant and recommend in particular the shrimp on a pineapple boat. As for us, we are happy we tried it, we are especially happy we had a coupon, but do not plan to return.
1433 Park St.