Dining on a budget: Krua Thai in West Covina

By Maritza Velazquez

The Hong Kong Plaza in West Covina is home to a plethora of Asian cuisine.

Whether your preference is Korean, Chinese, Indonesian or Thai, there’s a little something for everyone.

In the corner of this huge Asian mega center is Krua Thai, one of my favorite Thai restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley.

Since my last review pointed to a less than mediocre Thai experience, I thought I’d present readers with a great alternative.

Krua Thai offers more authentic cuisine and a very expansive menu at reasonable prices.

Most times I visit Krua (which is at least once a week), I order my favorite dish, the Pad Kee Mao. But you must be a spicy food lover to handle this plate. I love foods that tickle my taste buds, but this one really sets them on fire. If you’re a little sensitive to spicy food, you can order the dish medium or mild.

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It includes thick flat rice noodles, mint leaves, dried red chili, large slices of onion and tomato and choice of ground beef, chicken, pork, or shrimp. The cost of this hefty helping is $6.25.

Before this dish was served though, I ordered the Tom Kha Kai, a coconut-based soup with delicious mushrooms, chicken, lime juice and fresh chili. This one’s got a little bit of a spicy kick too, and runs $7.25. It comes in a big fire pot and I found can serve up to eight people.

Krua Thai also offers great menu items, featuring appetizers, salads, soups, noodles and rice dishes. Most are reasonably priced, between $6-$8.

You might also want to try the Pad Thai, a very popular Thai dish. It was voted “Best Pad Thai” by L.A. Weekly in 2004.

Although my latest visit was pleasant, I have found that great service at Krua Thai isn’t always the case. In past visits, it’s taken much too long to order, get drink refills or get the bill.

In my experience, I’ve learned that you must grab the servers’ attention. But the staff here is usually very polite and friendly.

And for all you night owls, Krua is open until 3:30 a.m. daily. It is located at 935 S. Glendora Ave. in West Covina. For more information, call (626) 480-0116.

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