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Thursday, July 3, 2008

King & I Thai Cuisine and Fish and Chips-Lake Forest

22421 El Toro Rd
Lake Forest, CA 92630

(949) 855-3970

That’s right. You read the title of this review correctly, and no I am not writing about two different restaurants. In an old strip mall off of El Toro Road, you will find a little Thai restaurant that specializes in authentic English fish and chips. I found this place by accident one day. I was just driving around aimlessly looking for somewhere new to eat. I actually drove by this place once and didn’t stop. After driving for a while longer I decided that I was driving too far from my office (darn those gas prices) so I turned around and started driving back towards Laguna Hills. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a sign that said “Thai Cuisine.” I turned into the parking lot and parked right in front of the restaurant. I got out of my car and looked at the front window. That is when I noticed the little neon sign that said “Fish & Chips.” “Whaaaaaaaaaaa,” I said. Did this Thai restaurant take over an old fish and chip place and forget to take down the sign? I looked at the menu in the window and found out that this place does indeed sell both Thai cuisine and fish & chips.

I walked in the front door as I argued with myself about what I was going to order. There is a counter with a large old school menu board behind it. The faded décor made this place look like it’s been around for a really long time. A little old Asian lady asked me if I was ordering for here or to go. “For here,” I told her. She told me to have a seat and handed me a menu.

I looked over the menu and continued arguing with myself. As usual when I argue with myself, neither side wins. Thai Food or Fish & Chips? Thai Food or Fish & Chips? Thai Food or Fish & Chips? OK!!!! I’ll order both! I finally decided that I would order the 10 piece Fried Wontons ($3.25), Yellow Pork Curry, extra spicy ($5.50) and a 1-piece Fish and Chips ($2.75).

I looked around the restaurant and was amused at the décor. There were posters of Thailand and very Asiany looking decorations mixed with seashells and a large fishing net. There are only 7 tables in this tiny restaurant, and they seem to get a steady stream of customers.

The first item to arrive was my fried wontons. The wontons were fried perfectly and each one contained a little nugget of seasoned pork in it. They were very good. The wontons were served with a watery sweet and sour sauce that wasn’t that great. I asked if they had hot mustard and the waitress stared at me like she had no idea what I was talking about. She then pointed at a jar of hot sauce on the table and said “You could use that.” Oh well.

Next I received my fish and chips. The chips were nothing special, just plain old french fries. The fish though, was fantastic. Flaky, white fish was battered and fried to a perfectly crispy consistency. The batter was crunchy and slightly greasy. My only complaint about the fish was that the piece was a little small. I would definitely go back for these reasonably priced fish and chips.

I then got my yellow curry. I was really looking forward to this, because I love yellow Thai curry. This wasn’t that good though. The curry was a little bland, watery and not spicy at all. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great. I added a little bit of the chili powder that they had on the table and it made it a little better, but not much.

So overall, I think that King & I Thai Cuisine is a good place to go for Fish & Chips, but maybe not for their Thai food. The fish and chips may not be the best you have ever had, mainly because of the chips, but the meal is pretty darn good. Especially since it is hard to find good fast food fish and chips for a reasonable price.

King & I Thai Cuisine on Urbanspoon


DanGarion said...

Man the name would have really been good if they dropped the I and just made it "King and Thai".

That would have been better.

Anonymous said...

You must try Tasty Thai in Lake Forest (on Lake Forest Dr). It is my favorite Thai restaurant in Orange County and the prices are VERY reasonable. My favorites are the green curry fried rice and pad thai.

Anonymous said...

I swear sometimes you eat combonations like a pregnant woman. :-)

Griffin said...

Dan Garion-tht would be a good name!

hiromoto-Thanks for the recommendation! I'll try to get down there soon to check it out.

anonymous-Yes, I do eat some weird combinations...maybe it's because I look pregnant!

Noodlegirl said...

What a quirky find! You happy now? I am slogging through the weekly blog roundup, just because of your nagging, HA!

Captain said...

That sweet and sour sauce looks like it's all sour, as in cider vinegar.

Try the fish at a Farmer Boys sometime. There are a couple in Anaheim, and one each in Santa Ana and Fullerton.

Diamond Dog said...

This is sooo RAD. I am going to try this place just because its such a weird combination. Did they have green papya salad?

Anonymous said...

you are lame. what thai restaurant has hot mustard? that's a chinese condiment you idiot!!!

Griffin said...

Anonymous-You're calling me lame because I asked for hot mustard in a Thai restaurant that serves English Fish and Chips?!?!?

Anonymous said...

If it's Thai you want to try you can not miss Pad Thai in Rancho Santa Margarita. My boyfirend and I are always looking for great Thai food and we have yet to find better in the area and and the prices couln't be better. It's a small place off the beaten path, behind IHOP on Banderas very nice extremely fresh and never greasy. All I can say is YUMMY!!!

Chiang Mai apartments said...

Do they serve pad Thai there? Thanks.