Open for a few months now, Thai Basil on Bloor (just west of Spadina) appears to be making good use of a beautiful storefront once inhabited by the now defunct so-hip-it-really-hurt "Rouge" bistro.
Despite walking by almost daily, I usually end up at the wonderful Mount Everest next door or further west at a blogTO fave, Sushi on Bloor. You've just got to be in the right mood (a risky one) to give a new restaurant make-or-break power over your evening. Yesterday, after my photoblog was destroyed by the painfully awful provider I was with (*ah-hem* edatarack.com) I was definitely in such a mood.
Luckily, and thankfully, it was a great choice.
The menu at Thai Basil is the usual long list of choices you find at Thai restaurants... maybe even more. The key difference here is that most of the choices offer comforting variations (for your picky friends -- not you of course!). If you love a certain dish but don't eat meat, or don't feel like vegetables or whatnot, you are likely to find a perfect alternative that suits your tastes.
For starters, I tried the Deep Fried Tofu. It's so easy to go wrong with this dish as a little overfrying leads to a grossly chewy and void of taste mouthful... not here. Garlicky and nicely (even lighty) fried. Yum.
For a main dish, my friend and I decided to share 2 entrees. One order of regular Pad Thai with chicken and one Vegetarian Thai Green Curry.
The Pad Thai (pictured above) definitely nudges its way into my top 5 but it was still a little off. There was 'something' missing we'd decided... though we couldn't peg what that was.
The Green Curry was excellent. At $7.95 I expected a bowl and some rice about the same size as what I've grown to expect at other good spots like Salad King (Yonge & Gerrard). Suprise, surprise, a generous bowlful with all kinds of fresh vegetables, and a small serving of rice -- which I welcome. By the end, that generous bowl proved to be a bit 'heavy in da belly' but damn, it was worth it.
There were other interesting looking coconut and pinaple dishes (by that i mean, literally, a salad in a carved out pinaple or something else in a coconut.. very neat) as well as some mango, black bean, deep friend banana type dessert offerings, but we were all out of room for such indulgences, so next time it is.
If you're thinking of heading down, pick up one of the take-out/delivery menus at the front door as well. They deliver all the way up to St. Clair and Ossington and over to College & Yonge! Delivery is also free when you spend over $15.
Thai Basil - 467 Bloor St W.