Saturday night my sister came over with her kids, or rather my cute nieces, Salena, Sonja, and Sar. We headed to Soho for some shopping where my niece Salena and I bought the exact same dress, isn't that sad? She's either too old for her age, or I'm too young for my age. Well, I'd like to think it is the former. 🙂 Whatever man, age is just a number! Thanks Salena for finding the dress. The 5 of us then hopped over to Greenwich Village where we met my husband for dinner. Of course, we landed up at a Thai restaurant. Have you noticed most of posts have been about Thai or Asian food lately? I seriously need to eat other cuisines. After dinner we strolled around and went to Caffe Dante for dessert, it is one of those cute little cafes in the Village that takes you back to Italy... Napoli and Roma. Caffe Dante requires another post of its own.
FYI... the Empire State building was lit up in orange, white, and green, in recognition of India's Independence Day on August 15. So pretty!!!
The next day I woke up pretty late which was nice... I felt refreshed. Today my husband and I went to see 'Eat Pray Love,' a highly anticipated movie that stars the legendary, Julia Roberts. I have to discuss my thoughts on the movie without giving too much away. I'm surprised at the so-so reviews because I really enjoyed this movie, but then I love chick flicks and anything drama related. I totally get why the character, Elizabeth Gilbert, checks out of her marriage and goes to Italy, India, and Bali, but I question why westerners often go to India to find peace and God. Seriously, how do you find peace in a country that boasts a population of over 1.1 billion people? What is it about India that the west finds so fascinating? I started pondering over this question and my best guess is the country as a whole humbles you. One cannot say that India has a reputation of having a materialistic society, on the contrary, I believe there are fewer distractions in India which in turn may help you in the process of finding yourself, and thus bringing you closer to God. Based on my own personal experience, each time I travel to India I can't help but notice the poverty that surrounds me, the population that overwhelms me and the very simple and humble lifestyle more than 50% of the country survives on, a concept that remains foreign to us in the west. Each time I return to the USA appreciating my life so much more, in a sense I feel that I have found myself all over again. Is it safe to say, the next time you question your purpose in life, you question who you are, and you question the meaning of life, maybe you should consider taking that trip to India and begin to appreciate what you have?
My favorite part of the movie was Italy and I loved the way the country was portrayed. Italy is such a happy place blessed with so much beauty, culture, and history. One can really understand what an Italian person is trying to convey through their body language... SO TRUE! In addition, the spaghetti dish that first appeared in the movie looked so delectable, I literally wanted to run home and make a bowl of Italian style spaghetti. Again, based on my own personal experience, the food in Italy is amazing, so fresh, and light, you will never feel ridiculously full. If you ever have the chance to go to Italy, it is an opportunity that should be seized... it is a beautiful country with beautiful people. I would go to Italy any day to find myself, JUST SAYIN'. 🙂
And lastly, Bali, a country I have yet to see and it looks breathtaking. It seem to me the movie did not depict the true beauty of Bali and its wonderful beaches. I believe they could have done a better job in doing so. Overall, I thought the movie was good and inspiring, and I think at some point every woman questions if she really wants the life she has? However, there were parts of the movie that remain abstract to me, like the whole balance thing threw me off at times. On the bright side, the movie makes me want to take a trip somewhere beautiful and cultural, not for a year, but maybe a week. 🙂 Oh, and I have to say that Javier Bardem is soooooooooooo HOT, especially unshaven! He's Spanish, of course!
Finally, my review on, Na Thai.
138 West Houston Street
New York, NY 10012
Just FYI... Na Thai used to be Prem-On Thai. The ambience at Na Thai is contemporary and I loved the fluorescent green accents throughout the restaurant giving the place a soft glow. As you walk in there is a bar to your left, and a seating area to your right. The tables are rather close to one another which sucks.
As you walk towards the back, this area is great for groups. My family and I dined in the back. There is private seating available as well.
Bar Scene, Casual Dining, Couples, Groups, Kid Friendly, Romantic Dining.
MENU - $$
Na Thai Menu. The prices at Na Thai are extremely affordable. Just to give you an example, $10 for a Salmon Fried Rice. Most dishes here run about $9 to $11, unless you are ordering from the Specials section. The lunch specials are a bargain at $8 where you can choose an appetizer and an entree.
Dinner for 3 adults + 3 kids (ages 10-14)
2 appetizers + 5 entrees = $79 (already included 18% tip)
RECOMMENDED HEALTHY EATS... choices below are based on my knowledge of food and nutrition. Avoid coconut based curries, avoid anything fried, avoid fried rice, and avoid noodles. Choose brown rice over white rice. Choose anything sauteed or stir-fried in a light sauce. There is no online nutritional information available for Na Thai. Please use your own discretion when making a decision.
|LUNCH - FIRST COURSE|
|Green Papaya Salad|
|Organic Greens Salad w/dressing on side|
|Steamed Vegetable Dumplings|
|LUNCH - SECOND COURSE|
|Ginger with Chicken|
|Chicken with Peanut Sauce|
|Mix Vegetable with Tofu (not fried)|
|Steamed Vegetable Dumplings|
|Tofu and Vegetable Soup|
|Organic Greens w/dressing on side|
|Green Papaya Salad|
|Grilled Eggplant Salad|
|SAUTEED (choose Brown Rice)|
|Mix Vegetable with Tofu (opt non-fried tofu)|
|Ginger with Chicken|
|Eggplant with Shrimp|
|Chicken Peanut Sauce|
|NA THAI'S SPECIAL|
|Tilapia Pad Ped|
|Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon|
|Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Pea|
My sister was in the mood for appetizers so we started off with the Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls. I thought these were average, nothing special.
We also ordered a Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, again, this was average, wasn't anything special.
I ordered my favorite, Pad Thai with Shrimp as my entree. This was very good, but definitely not the best Pad Thai I've had. The portion served was very generous with cubes of fried tofu, however I was only served 4 pieces of jumbo shrimp. I highly recommend ordering Pad Thai here if you love the dish.
My husband ordered his favorite, Chicken Fried Rice. LOL! Okay, so if you are going to order Chicken Fried Rice, this is the place to order it. It is fantastic! I don't even have words to describe what this dish tastes like. The flavor is so unique and delicious with juicy pieces of chicken and lots of Thai basil. Definitely one of the best dishes at Na Thai!
My sister is vegetarian and ordered the Green Curry with Vegetables and Tofu. Her dish was really good as well, the tofu was fried and the portion was very filling. The Green Curry came with a side of Jasmine Rice.
Just like me, the kids also ordered a Pad Thai with Shrimp. In addition, they ordered the Ginger with Chicken which was perfect! The chicken was so juicy and there was so much ginger flavor in this dish, you could really taste it. Since the kids didn't eat the mushrooms, I ended up picking out all the mushrooms from the dish. This dish came with a side of Jasmine Rice and was one of best Ginger Chicken dishes I have ever had.
VERDICT - 4 / 5
Overall, I loved Na Thai. The appetizers were definitely a letdown, however the entrees more than made up for it. The Chicken Fried Rice and Ginger Chicken were among the best dishes here followed by the Pad Thai and Green Curry which were very good. The next time I dine here I want to take advantage of their drink specials between 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM, I believe cocktails are $6. The entrees here are excellent with affordable prices and trendy decor. In addition, the service is very good, the waiters are very friendly and warm. I think this place is great for a first date or a lunch date. It is also great for couples during the evening hours.
Just have to state one final thought, I just noticed that on Saturday I ate Thai food which is so similar to Balinese cuisine, hence Bali. My family and I went to an Italian bakery for dessert, hence Italy. The Empire State building was lit up in India's flag colors, hence India. All 3 countries were mentioned in Eat Pray Love. Coincidence? I think so!