The first thing we noticed about Thai-E San, located at the northeast corner of 7th St. and Indian School Road in Phoenix, was the smell. The authentic aroma of coconut curry and Thai spices infused the place.
After the waitress seated us at a large marble table, we had to take a few moments to admire the decor. Adorning the green and yellow-splashed faux walls were elaborately embroidered Thai tapestries, adding to the restaurant's glamour.
The food was good too, if a bit generic. The limited lunch specials (ranging from $6.49-$14.95 depending on meat choice) came with a delicious salty tofu and rice-noodle soup, not-so-authentic deep fried eggrolls, a side of fluffy white rice and the entree -- we opted for the green tofu curry, a basil fish dish and a traditional rice noodle dish called "Rad-Nar."
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The curry was delicious -- the flavor of sweet coconut infused the tofu and was offset perfectly by the bite of jalapeno. The basil fish, on the other hand, left much to be desired. Brick-like, it was overcooked, oily and served with too few vegetables. Luckily, the Rad Nar more than made up for it -- chewy rice noodles, green leafy veggies and lightly fried tofu coated with a thick gravy. We'll be back.