Sala Bua Thai Cuisine | Chinatown | Thai | Restaurant

Sala Bua Thai Cuisine Image

Hours: Lunch, dinner: seven days
Open late: Friday & Saturday till 2

Price: $$

Thai comes to Chinatown, with a full bar and late-night delivery on weekends.

Restaurant Details

Sala Bua, at the far-eastern reaches of the Chinatown Mall, has a menu of familiar Ameri-Thai standards (crab Rangoon, pad thai, etc), but it's also been getting some attention for serving items non-Thais used to have to ferret out on so-called secret menus—things like Isan sausage, spicy raw shrimp with fish sauce (goong chae nam pla), and four varieties of papaya salad (with dried shrimp, raw blue crab, salted crab, or pickled fish). I myself went in with the hope that some of the Chinese-rooted dishes would be better than at most places—particularly khao man gai, the Thai version of Hainanese chicken, a rarity outside southeast Asia that when done well is rarer still. Alas, that's not here. What should be a succulent steamed or boiled bird resting on a pile of schmaltzy, garlicky, chicken-saturated rice was arid and devoid of lipids, chicken and starch alike. Another Chinese-ish dish, moo palo (here called just palo), a stew of five-spiced-pork belly and boiled egg, was skimpy on the meat and so sweet you could pour it over ice cream. There was one nice surprise, though: tao-jaew, a dish I'd never seen before, described on the menu as "house specialty ground pork in a coconut bean sauce served with cucumber." It's cooked in coconut cream, which gives the dish its dominant flavor and texture, like a rich, creamy, sweet, coconut Bolognese sauce. The presentation is pretty too—carefully carved cucumber coins with a slight concave depression filled with the relish and topped with a sliver of blazing hot red chile. It's a nice little munch.

Mike Sula

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Price: $$

Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover


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