Thursday, April 16, 2015

Are You Even Ready For Thai Food This Legit? I Wasn't.

Sab-e-lee, I know you closed one of your locations in Linda Vista, so how about moving to North Park? Adams Avenue? Okay, okay...City Heights, but I can only visit before 3 P.M. and I'll have to bring pepper spray. 

You broke my heart last December. I went to go see you at the Ulric Street location for your boat noodle soup and was confronted with a sad, desolate shell of what you once were. Rumor has it you found someone someplace else up north. Rumors, that's all I have. Empty, foodless, loveless rumors.


Fine. I give up. I just stalked you online and I see you're now in Mira Mesa, Rancho Penasquitos and at another location in Linda Vista. That's good news, but I'm still hurt.

You see, before I met you I didn't even like Thai food. I thought "Pad thai? Yellow curry? What is this tamed version of Asian food?! Blegh!"

But, then you changed everything.

You introduced me to spicy levels 1 through 10. You brought larb into my life. We had sticky rice and mango for the first time together! How could you forget and just close up shop like that?! I thought we had something...

I forgive you, but don't do it again (I will always say for the millionth time...).

You're so beautiful...

You're not for everyone. That's for sure. You're like that crazy, irrational bad boy who loves Radiohead, got a tattoo in Thailand and still thinks black eyeliner is cool. Many of my friends don't like you, but those who do are as obsessed. And it's the things that turn others off that I LOVE. For instance your beef boat noodle soup.

Beef, Liver, Tripe, Meatballs and Bean Sprouts in Beef Blood Soup
I'm not going to ease you into this, my friends. You're in deep with me now. This soup has much more than beef. It has liver, tripe and blood in the soup. I actually like liver and tripe, so those were pluses for me. As for the blood in the soup, I was indifferent about it when I saw it on the menu. It didn't gross me out nor did it entice me. When I tried the soup though...oh man, OH MAN. Good God, great balls of fire it is good!

I'm not sure to credit the blood really. It does make the soup a bit thicker, but I don't know how it contributes to the flavor. Bottom line, the soup itself is fantastic if you like this kind of stuff. The noodles were cooked perfectly (just like pho noodles), and it had so many different kinds of meatballs/meat cuts and veggies that every bite was different. You know what, just forget everything I just wrote about the blood. I know that's all you can think about right now. It's just soup. I swear. Just soup.

There there's larb.

There's duck larb, catfish larb, chicken larb, pork larb, tofu larb, mock duck larb, larby larb larb larb larb (I just like writing "larb"). Larb is a very popular Southeast Asian dish which consists of a minced protein mixed with lime juice, fish sauce, roasted ground rice and fresh herbs. It's like a meat salad. You'll have garlic/onion breath afterward, but it's a very good and very authentic dish I like to eat over rice all alone in my living room in pajamas watching old episodes of No Reservations on YouTube while drinking Heinekens.

I also had the spicy raw beef dish (Koy Nua) here. The beef is thinly sliced and mixed with an insane amount of garlic, mint and lime sauce. Incredible stuff, but if you're on a first date, you might want to avoid it or make sure you have a lot of gum on you.

(FYI, Sab-e-lee has many tamer menu options I'm sure are fabulous)

I have only covered a fraction of the dishes served at Sab-e-lee. That's because I haven't tried many of the them. It's hard to sample a lot of dishes when you go to these places alone. My tiny tummy can only fit so much food and the sad "she needs a friend" glances usually get me out pretty quick. Still, Sab-e-lee has the most authentic, daring, hit you where it hurts (but it feels so good) Thai food I've ever eaten.

That's why, Sab-e-lee, you need to come to me! I'll be waiting. You can just park your little, spicy self right next to my unit and we'll be happy pandas.

Oh, and if you're reading this and happen to be a hungry zigallionaire, can you just eat there, see what I'm saying and invest in them so they can open another location in North Park near Kansas Street? Why that location? reason. I just heard there's a hungry person there who'd, you know, appreciate it. Thanks.

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