Thai cuisine at Sala Thai in Fremont, CA

It was a lazy Saturday evening and on the spur of a moment, we decided to eat out. Given that it was Yajur Upakarma, I had to avoid onion and garlic in addition to my personal no-no’s of mushroom and egg. We were in Fremont and decided to meet up with a friend’s family at Sala Thai, a popular Thai restaurant in Central Fremont. Just to be clear, the restaurant we went to looks nothing like what the website suggests. It is a casual Thai place that looks like every other Thai place I have been to- with an extra bright purple lighted name sign outside the restaurant as the only differentiator.

We were seated fairly quickly on a busy Saturday evening. We requested for two baby seats. The first one came quick. The second one, well, took a while and a second request to come through. Nevermind. Such things happen on a busy evening. Our friends arrived and we got our glasses of water and menus to pore over. We reviewed quickly given that our Fremont residing friends had been to the place a lot of times. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. Finally I signaled to someone to take our orders. I would have thought attending to customers on a busy evening would be the smart thing to do- so more customers can actually be accomodated sooner than later. Nevermind.

We ordered fried tofu as an appetizer, a pot of Tom Yum Gai soup, basil fried rice, pineapple fried rice and mussaman curry with brown rice. The food arrived quickly. The pot of soup came with its own burner and looked neat. Tasted just as good too. The pineapple fried rice was pretty good and got its best vote of approval from the little guy who gobbled up his portion from my place. All of us enjoyed the food- it was tasty, decent portioned without being overwhelming and simple. Main course completed, we wanted to get some dessert and settled for fried banana with mango icecream which ended up being pretty good too.

Meal completed, we waited for our checks. After a longer than usual but now expected wait, the check arrived. To our not so amused surprise, we were hit with an automatic gratuity- apparently the 1 yr old and 3 yr old in the group were added up to constitute a 6 member party. We definitely were’nt amused. In all my years eating out, never have infants and toddlers been counted to satisfy the automatic gratuity clause. So inspite of a pretty tasty meal, the experience left a sour taste in my mouth.

Rating:

Ambience: 4/5. Boiler plate Thai ambience.

Service: 3/5. Definitely slow to take orders, provide bill and service the customer.

Food: 4.25/5. We liked everything we ordered. Good food.

Price: 4/5. Not too cheap. Not too pricey. Appetizers in mid-single digits, dishes close to $10 each was acceptable.

Rest Room: 4.5/5. Clean and well stocked with tissues on a busy Saturday night. Single, common bathroom. Starting with this review, a new rating category that might appear funny but is important to many readers and customers.

Overall: 3.5/5. It sucked to give this place a lower rating given the tasty food but the gratuity snafu and slow service irked me and will irk most others too.