It had been some time since we last had light and airy shrimp chips.
At the new Bamboo Thai Bistro these chips, which almost melt in your mouth and have a mild shrimp flavor, come complimentary, as salsa and tortilla chips do in a Mexican restaurant.
From there, we followed the lead of a couple of reliable Thai food fans, who had dined there previously, when placing our orders.
That meant Siam rolls ($3.95) as an appetizer. These included minced chicken, onion, green onion, carrots, bean thread noodles and egg wrapped in rice paper and deep-fried to a crispy finish. They looked like oversized egg rolls and were served with a sweet garlic sauce.
For entrees, we chose pad cashew nut with pork ($8.55) and princess shrimp ($7.75). Each included an order of white steamed rice or fried rice dotted with peas, carrots and egg served in small stainless steel bowls.
The pad cashew dish included roasted cashews, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, baby corn, celery and water chestnuts in a brown sauce. This dish had an excellent flavor but a bit of an overload on the baby corn, of which the thicker pieces were almost too tough to bite through.
The shrimp dish was a mix of small tails-on stir-fried shrimp, bell peppers, carrots, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and green onions in a brown sauce. It had a nice floral aroma and flavor.
We polished the dinner off with icy coconut ice cream topped with roasted coconut ($2) and two pieces of fried bananas ($3) sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.
Diners also may order their food with no spice, mild, medium, hot or extra hot. A picture of a pepper next to a dish on the menu means that item starts from mild spice.
Dishes are generally a little smaller and less expensive during the lunch hour, and a soup of the day comes with each meal.
Our server, Ling, seemed to have a permanent smile and was eager to please. The setting was comfortable with contemporary high-backed white leather chairs at the tables, red and gold curtains and cornices, wood-grain tables, a wooden statue of a Thai woman, a wood-carved screen and views out large windows to the intersection of 51st Street and Yale Avenue.
BAMBOO THAI BISTRO
(On a scale of 0 to 4 stars.)
5079 S. Yale Ave.
11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday; accepts all major credit cards.
Out of Michigan
Fue Vue, who owns Bamboo Thai Bistro with his father, Yong, and his wife, Lou, said the family formerly operated Thai restaurants in Michigan, ranging from a spot in a mall to casual fine dining.
"My grandma and grandpa lived down here, and when the economy went south in Michigan, we moved to Tulsa," said Vue, who came to the United States from Thailand when he was 8 years old.
"I had worked in structural design before but couldn't find a job in that field, so I went with what I knew, which was the restaurant business."
Scott Cherry 581-8463