Thai Juan On
31878 Del Obispo St. #109
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
When we started the new year, I made a resolution to myself that I would get out of my food comfort zone. Try something new and exciting. So how have I done? Looking over the list, we have visited Mexican restaurants, hamburger places, and traditional joints. Okay, guess this was going to be harder than I thought. But, to my credit we did have a great Vietnamese meal at OC Poultry and Rotisserie. So when Jason asked us to try some Thai food, it was the perfect opportunity to cross another countries food off of our list.
Going in, I had very little knowledge of Thai food. I know that it can be a little spicy, and there are lots of vegetables. That was the extent of my familiarity of the cuisine. Thai Juan On is the sister restaurant of Thai This in Dana Point. Their menu, like their name is dotted with lots of puns.
We arrived at about eight on a Friday night. We were sat immediately in the restaurant that is halved with a bar area. The night we were here they had a musician with some smooth music. The bar area seemed to bring in more people than the restaurant. While we were here, there were only us, and three other tables eating in the darkened restaurant. Hopefully they are not hiding anything with the dark atmosphere. Let's check out the food.
The first of the two appetizers we got were the Spring Rolls. These were filled with chicken and jelly noodles, and served with a sweet and sour sauce. We all remarked how these tasted very fresh, and were not greasy like other places we have had spring rolls. The sauce was very sweet, and added some flavor to the rolls.
The Golden Thaiangle was our second appetizer we got. See, you thought I was kidding about the puns, right? Anyways, here they stuffed flour, "thaitillas", with fish, shrimp, avocado, cilantro and green onion. The fish taste of this really stood out to me, and kind of moved everything else to the side. This was served with a very interesting nutty, sweet and sour cucumber sauce. Very unique Thai take on a quesadilla, minus the cheese.
Now on to the main dishes. Jason went with the Green Jungle. This dish had all of the following; broccoli, carrots, bamboo shoots, baby corn, zucchini, green beans and shrimp in a spicy green curry/coconut milk sauce. The sauce was very tasty with a great kick to it, and the veggies were cooked well. The shrimp was very tasty, but not abundant. When I asked Jason for his reaction to this dish, he said, "I am speechless". I guess that means he liked this a lot.
Katie took a chance on the Thai Noodle. The Thai noodle is cooked with shrimp, egg, ground peanut, tofu and bean sprouts. Katie called this the best pad Thai she has ever had. She mentioned the freshness of the ingredients, and she also liked the texture of the dish with the bean sprouts. I had one bite of this and thought it was good, but it was too mild for me.
I had a hard time choosing what to get, and I finally settled on the Red Devil. This dish consisted of spicy red curry beef, with coconut milk, potato, onion and peanut. I liked this dish, but would have liked it a little more spicy. The waiter kind of spooked me out about asking for this spicier, I should have followed my gut and took it up a few notches. I would equate this dish to a spicy pot roast. I would also have liked a little more meat here. They were a little skimpy with the portions, but I am a big eater.
Now on to the desserts. Jason raved about the Sticky Rice served with Coconut Ice Cream and Coconut Custard, so that is what I got. The ice cream had a great coconut flavor, and was very cold. After I warmed up to the texture of the sticky rice I really liked it. This was a great tasting dessert, but a little over-priced at $10.
For his dessert, Jason got the Mango with Sticky Rice. He liked this, but said that he missed the coconut ice cream that he usually gets with this. We shared a little of our ice cream with him though. It was the least we could do for him introducing this place to us.
Our dear Emily, who sat through the meal here with us, has a peanut allergy, and could not eat here. Here she is holding her empty plate. I wanted to include her in this post, because she had to watch all of us really enjoying our meals. Thanks for the great company Em!
For our first try of Thai food I could not have been happier. The food here was fresh, and definitely had some flavor to it. I would have liked the portions to be bigger, but I do look forward to trying more Thai places. The service here was great. They really took care of us, and made sure our drinks were filled all night. Once again, thanks Jason for the suggestion.
Out of five swan boats, (because their is a swan boat circuit in Thailand), five being best to zero being worst, Thai Juan On gets 3 swan boats.
For more information on Thai Juan On click here: http://www.thaithis.com/home.php