Thai


Saigon Flavors is something of a local favorite, offering a good bowl of pho as well as Thai and Chinese dishes to their customers. Service is attentive and good.

larb beef.

Saigon Flavors serves a good bowl of pho.

Besides pho, we had their larb beef, some bubble tea and a rice (Com Dia) dish. We didn’t have enough of their Thai or Chinese offerings to judge those, but based largely on their Vietnamese cuisine, I’d say this could easily become a routine stop on the way to the mall.

Saigon Flavors
3200 Woodward Crossing Blvd
Buford, GA 30519
(770) 932-7705

Saigon Flavors on Urbanspoon

Gogi Brothers was mentioned by a reader of my blog some time ago, but life, work changes, and all made it really impossible for me to run around Snellville the way I normally do. My focus was inward, towards the city of Atlanta, not out of it. I never found this restaurant until I made an ill fated run for jerk chicken towards Grayson (I should realize that small, mom and pop Jamaican eateries are invariably closed on Sundays).

It turns out that Gogi Brothers has occupied a building a stone’s throw from the Mellow Mushroom on Highway 78, and so most Snellville residents can find Gogi simply by heading down 78 towards Loganville. It will be on the right if you do. The building is handsome, a pretty brick, and if my memory serves, the building used to be home to a Dickey’s BBQ in the past.

Kimchi as an appetizer. It's not on the menu but you can ask for it.

Now, Gogi is the word for “meat” in Korean, and this restaurant doesn’t easily fit into any single category. Instead, it’s a cross cultural assortment of foods that they serve, everything from Korean influenced dishes, Thai dishes, some Japanese dishes (teppenyaki style dishes, mostly), American and American-Korean favorites — what else is a bulgogi burger — and they also push their hot wings. They serve beer and wine, and this place will deliver as well.

Gogi's babimbap. No stone bowl, and a lot of greens in this version.

Bulgogi

When you cover this much ground, some things are lost. Korean dishes are not served in stone bowls, so the bibimbap here isn’t like what you can find in, say, Assi Plaza. In fact, my favorite Korean dish here goes by the very proletarian name of “spicy pork”. They have “spicy chicken” as well.

Spicy pork.

Staff here is largely Korean, well dressed and mannered, and pretty nice. And what this place loses in authenticity it makes up for in sheer willingness to serve. Snellville is better off with this place than without, as Korean is a bold assertive cuisine, and any inroads they can make into our dining habits are probably good ones.

Gogi Brothers
2624 Cindy Lane
Snellville, GA 30078
(770) 837-2201

Gogi Brothers on Urbanspoon

Probably better with a plate of rice, but still quite good, Yum Yum Thai’s mussels have a touch of spice and a pleasing amount of sweet peppers to match.

Yum Yum Thai
3977 Lawrenceville Hwy
Tucker, GA 30084
(770) 496-0307

Yum Yum Thai on Urbanspoon

Little Thai is on the corner of a strip mall, roughly on the southwest corner of Sandy Springs Circle and Johnson Ferry Road, in the same mall that houses Brooklyn Cafe. It’s a pretty eatery, and this elegance and grace is perhaps its best attribute.

Service is good here. The staff are both charming and quick to suggest alternatives. The menu is small but useful. There are 6 curries, not 60. There is one entry for penang curry, for example, and several options for meats.

Little Thai has a fair number of noodle dishes, and of course, coconut milk is featured prominently in the cooking. I found a dish I thought I could manage, their Ocean Seafood, a variety of seafood in a spicy basil sauce.

Though rated “two peppers”, I’d have rated it one on my personal scale. The spicing here is, as another customer noted, “spicy but not too much.” Toned down to Atlanta tastes? Perhaps, but there are worse fates than having a moderate level of spice.

I liked the staff at Little Thai. They managed to be serene, helpful, funny, graceful. If what you’re wanting is 50 minutes of serenity before heading back to the office, some good food, a chance to relax, this eatery, off  the beaten path of Sandy Springs, can deliver.

Verdict: Serene, pretty, graceful. A small set of good useful dishes. Recommended.

Little Thai
220 Sandy Springs Circle
Sandy Springs, GA 30328

Little Thai Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Wild Ginger is a modest Thai and sushi restaurant found on Savoy Drive, a road that parallels 285. I don’t go here often but when 285 traffic is dreadful I will exit the Interstate and travel along Savoy. In one of these moments I stopped and tried Wild Ginger. I liked the looks of the place, puzzled at the inclusion of sushi, thought the food wasn’t bad. I hadn’t been back until now, until the awful mid December 285 traffic drove me off the road again.

It is pretty inside. Nice tables, wine racks, a good looking bar greet you as you enter. That, and an ever cheerful Rachel Ray on the flat screen. This is one of the few restaurants in town where a flat screen doesn’t have sports. Instead, Wild Ginger tends to tune to the Food Channel.

Service is unhurried and graceful. White shrimp crackers end up on your table by magic. I decided I wanted to try a salad and entrée, so I ordered nam tok and the chicken entrée spicy basil leaf.

Nam Tok

Spicy basil leaf

Nam tok, when it arrived, looked good. But I could taste the salt on it and that affected my pleasure in the dish. Not bad, but would have been better if the salt wasn’t such an obvious part of the taste. I enjoyed the spicy basil leaf much more, in part because whole chunks of long hot peppers were used to spice the dish. Long hots are spicy but not overwhelmingly so, and spicy plus good flavor equals a lot of joy in my book.

Verdict: Good food, welcome respite from a difficult commute. Recommended.

Wild Ginger
2201 Savoy Dr
Atlanta, GA 30341
(770) 451-3880

Wild Ginger on Urbanspoon

One of the first restaurants I reviewed when I started this blog was Danthai, a popular Thai restaurant just a stone’s throw from Snellville. It probably suffered in that my first reviews weren’t all that good, lacking good photos or context. I’ll try to correct that, as I went to Danthai recently and took photos.

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I’ve always been fond of their cucumber salad, light and delicious.

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This day they had a special, a spicy basil with shrimp and scallops. It was good, though the scallops were a bit chewy. Spicing was well nigh perfect. This is a restaurant where I don’t have to correct the spicing before I eat.

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The seating inside is clean but plain. The chairs are simple and the table cloths are plastic. But it was half full of people when I arrived, and more came as I sat and ate. Someone must know about the place!

Danthai
851 Oak Road #89
Lawrenceville, GA 30044-7226
(770) 985-1719

Danthai on Urbanspoon

Rasa Sayang, it turns out, is a decade old Malaysian-Chinese-Thai eatery, once found west of 400 and Holcombe Bridge (i.e. Exit 7 on 400). It relocated about 3 years ago to just east of 400 and Holcombe Bridge – parking on the other side was horrendous. I can attest to that, as I tried twice to get to their old location back in the day and was defeated by the generally awful parking.

The eatery is now located in the same general area as the Publix just south and east of the intersection, though not connected to the Publix. You can get to it by heading right as soon as you can after exiting 400 to the east, or you can wait to the first traffic light, and head south at the light. The new location is really good looking, both inside and outside.

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The tables are a nice deep red-brown, perhaps rosewood or mahogany, and the waiters are gracefully dressed. There are tables and booths inside, and a small bar. There are also ironwork tables outside, if the day is good and you want a view of the city.

The restaurant offers Thai, Chinese, and Malaysian dishes.  The real draw, however, are the Malaysian dishes. The first one I had here was the Kuala Lumpur Kari Mee, a noodle soup.

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The okra was unexpected, a nice touch. There is a lot of flaver, a lot of taste in this soup, and it tends to remind me of dishes with similar themes.  It reminds me a little of udon. It reminds me a bit of cream of mushroom soup, and of course, chicken noodle. It seems to mix elements of several kinds of food and it does it quite well. I liked this dish a great deal.

I also had the tomyum chicken. This dish came with a soup starter and a serving of brown rice and an egg roll.

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The soup shown has a coconut milk base. They also can serve a hot and sour soup and an egg drop soup. The rice is a brown rice, different in texture from ordinary short grain rice. The egg roll was decent, though I’m not really an egg roll person. The tomyum chicken was good. The sauce on the chicken was thick,  and it wasn’t sweet the way some thick Asian sauces can be. You could, however, taste the bits of sweet pineapple scattered throughout the dish. There was a rich flavor to the food. I tossed the chicken over my rice and ate them as a mix. It was really good eating.

One last point, about peppers and heat. The two hottest cuisines I’ve experienced are Malaysian and Thai. Both can create dishes with such fire that I find them inedible. That said, most Malay places in Atlanta offer no heat to speak of or very little heat. This place has dishes marked hot, but on a four level scale of “mild”, “medium”, “hot”, “hot by our standards”, the hot dishes are really mild. You can ask for pepper sauce here, or you can ask them to add more spice when you order. I tend to order “medium”, because it’s spicy enough for me, and my wife can still eat it.

Staff is well dressed and efficient. The owner can be found in this restaurant at times. The second time I showed, he waved to me as if I were an old friend. Later he stopped by my booth, asked how I was doing, how was the food, and chatted.  This kind of personal contact, I think, says volumes about the interest a restaurant has in providing the best for their customers.

Verdict: Decade old Malay institution in Atlanta, well worth visiting. Highly recommended.

Rasa Sayang
1425 Market Boulevard #1309
Roswell, Georgia 30076
(770) 643-8812

Rasa Sayang on Urbanspoon

Notes: Rasa Sayang is, incidently, a folk song popular in Malaysia. Versions of the song can be seen and heard on Youtube. Northside Food has a nice review of the restaurant. And there are AJC reviews dating back ten years, theoretically, via Access Atlanta. Problem is, Access Atlanta is a horrible site,  hard to navigate and with a totally disfunctional search. Maybe the web admin can find their old content. I can’t find a thing on their site.

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