By Stacey Wang,
Growing up in the San Gabriel Valley, it comes as no surprise that I love Asian food.
One of the staples in my diet to date is Chinese curry. It’s got a simple ingredient list – chicken or beef, carrots, potatoes, onions and curry powder. Quick to make, ingredients simple to remember and it can be made in bulk. A perfect combination for someone with little to no time to cook.
So I have grown fond of curry. Plus, it’s satisfying.
In my search for a lunchtime meal, I pulled into The Commons at La Verne. The plaza was packed with cars on one side – mostly because of hungry mouths at acclaimed The Habit Burger Grill, coupled with bargain shoppers at Ross. The other side was empty, so I chose to park there out of intrigue.
That’s where I found Siamese Restaurant, a dineresque Thai restaurant with cultural ornaments scattered throughout the place.
I ordered chicken curry from the lunch specials menu for $6.25 – which included Wonton soup, a choice of fried rice or steamed rice and a small side salad. I opted for brown rice, adding an extra $1.
The Wonton soup was forgettable, a soggy pork Wonton in a soup that had little flavor but a hint of sourness. I finished the cup quickly, set it aside and thoughts of how the curry would measure up filled my mind.
Unlike its Chinese relative, Thai curry has a thinner consistency and is slightly tart. It also has a creaminess because coconut milk is used.
To me, a good Thai curry is not too creamy, sour or spicy. The Siamese curry fulfilled each of these aspects.
My dish had thinly sliced white meat chicken, red bell peppers and jalapenos, drenched in curry sauce and topped with bamboo slices. The bamboo aged the flavor and the few jalapeno slices gave it a bite that crept on my tastebuds. I finished two glasses of water by the end of my short meal.
The portions weren’t generous but reasonable, despite my being famished, because the great thing about curry is that it’s incredibly filling.
Siamese also offers variety of items on its $6.25 lunch menu, including Pad Thai, Karee Kai and Panang.
For an extra $1, menu items such as sweet and sour fish, chili fish and ginger shrimp are available.
To catch the lunch specials, you can visit the restaurant from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Even if you miss the specials, most of the menu is under $10.
Siamese Restaurant is at 1544 Foothill Blvd., La Verne; (909) 593-7097.