THE EATBEAT: Little Bangkok is well worth the waitWe waited about 20 minutes on a recent Sunday evening to be seated at Little Bangkok. But my daughter, Gail Hagerty (GH), and I decided it was well worth the wait.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
We waited about 20 minutes on a recent Sunday evening to be seated at Little Bangkok. But my daughter, Gail Hagerty (GH), and I decided it was well worth the wait.
In the first place, Little Bangkok offers Thai food and sushi that are rare around here. In the second place, it has a different and inviting ambiance. We saw several people at the sushi bar and other groups ordering sushi.
While we were interested in the sushi items, we weren’t inclined to experiment with raw fish (known as sashimi) even though it is the draw here for many customers. However, we did begin our meal with spring rolls that were created to suit the Western palate and are called California rolls. They were attractive and tasty with a little green wasabi (so hot you want to taste it gingerly).
I ordered a pot of green tea to go with the meal, and it seemed just right, although it was not steeping hot as you would hope tea to be.
The traditional Thai entrees at Little Bangkok are listed under curry and stir-fry. My choice of Gaeng Ga Ree, or yellow curry, was highly interesting and good enough, though not wonderful, for $12. It was made up of large chunks of potato along with onion, carrots and chicken. It was very rich and filling.
A dish called Pad Thai ($10) was the choice of GH and is one of four dishes listed under Noodles and Fried Rice. It comes with choice of chicken, pork, beef, tofu or mock chicken.
While we were eating, we saw a couple of elegant boats of sushi served to nearby tables. They range in price from $18 to $60, and on previous occasions, I have had a chance to taste from them.
Appetizers on the menu also are inviting. There’s a salmon tartar for $7 made with spicy chopped salmon, topped with tobiko and avocado. I remembered having edamame ($4) at an earlier visit to Little Bangkok and enjoying the soybeans in the pod, steamed and lightly salted.
It seems to me, you pretty much go with the flow at Little Bangkok. The restaurant promotes the items for which they have ingredients on any given day.
Our server, who was handling several tables, was quick and polite. He was helpful and nonintrusive — everything a server should be.
He showed us a large sushi tray he was delivering to another large table. It was a sushi boat with a variety of tastes and a work of art.
We visited with Som Storey, a native of Thailand, who is manager of Little Bangkok. She said the owners of her company, who also operate Drunken Noodle in East Grand Forks, recently opened a restaurant in downtown Fargo and another in Bismarck.
Little Bangkok has been running with a faithful following for the past two years in East Grand Forks. It occupies a building that in recent years was the site of an Irish Pub and later a place for Mexican and Italian food.
The mood here is steady and upbeat. While Little Bangkok has its shortcomings, it is long on ideas. Customers seem to show up for their own reasons.
The manager said that 60 percent of the orders are for sushi and 40 percent are for Thai.
302 DeMers Ave., East Grand Forks
Owners: Keng Dechawuth and David Schear, Fargo.
Manager: Som Dow Storey.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 10 p.m. closing Friday, Saturday.
Telephone: (218) 399-1122.
Report card: About 60 percent of the customers at Little Bangkok order sushi, and 40 percent order Thai foods that are hard to find in this area. The restaurant is creative. Service is good. The comfortable old building provides an exposed brick wall and the original ornate metal ceiling. And there are gold and red splashes of art.
Reach Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.