I just moved back to California about four months ago. When I arrived, my little sister gave me the run down on the newest and greatest plant-based restaurants. Los Angeles is home to some of the best vegan-eats in the country; Crossroads, Mohawk Bend, Flore Vegan and more. There is one that is a little off the beaten path and worth finding, Satdha | Plant-Based Thai Kitchen, located in Santa Monica, CA. According to my sis “This is the best Thai food outside of Thailand!” and she knows because she has been to Thailand numerous times.
It was about 2 o’clock when I headed to Satdha for my visit. I was fortunate to catch my very busy sister on an ‘office day’ at home and in need of a lunch break, so she joined me. The best way to determine if a restaurant has good service and food is to go after lunch when the crowd has died down and the staff is in dinner prep mode. The interior of the restaurant was very clean and Feng Shui. The space is open and inviting with rich wood tone walls accented with bamboo shoots. The big windows go all the way around the dining area, which makes this little restaurant seem bigger then it really is.The decor says welcome, the tables are set and ready, and the cleanliness shows attention to detail. We were greeted and seated by a very pleasant hostess and had the entire place to ourselves. Our solitude didn’t last long as an early dinner crowd of ten came in shortly after us…whew…good timing on our part! Our hostess brought us a chilled glass decanter filled with cold cucumber mint water and kept it full during the entirety of our meal. Since this was my first time here, I defaulted to following my sisters lead on what to order. We dined family style, since we are…well…family. We ordered an appetizer, a vegetable side and two entrees to share. The first plate out was the Mung Bean Croquettes and they were amazing! The mung bean and mushroom filling was coated with panko bread crumbs and served atop fried vermicelli with toasted chili-cilantro sauce on the side. The presentation was beautiful and the savory flavor of the croquette was nicely complemented with the sweetness of the sauce. The contrast of the soft filling with the crispy outside gave it a great mouth feel. It was so good I even ate the decorative vermicelli. As soon as we finished our appetizer, our entrees were served along with the vegetable side. Lisa ordered the catfish eggplant which is; battered eggplant with red curry paste, bell peppers, young peppercorn and Thai basil. While I think they could find a better name for this dish, it performed well on the plate and tasted as great as it looked. The contrast in texture was enhanced by a wonderful balance of sweet and savory in the sauce. The colors of the fresh vegetables on the plate made it art show worthy. According to our server, this is one of the most popular dishes. Second in line for popular menu Items is the Prik king, which is what I ordered. This entree features crisp green beans, tofu, red curry paste, bell pepper, kefir lime leaves and Thai basil. I asked for mine to be “Thai spicy” because I like a little sweat on my forehead when I eat Thai food. It wasn’t as spicy as I had hoped for but the sauce was good, so I didn’t offend the kitchen by asking for a bottle of Sriracha.
The side we ordered was the chive blossom. The chives were sauteed with a complementary amount of garlic and chili, then tossed together with baked tofu and peanuts. I’ve never experienced an entire plate of chives but it was nicely done.
Satdha is easy on the bank account and you get a lot of food for the money. Hours of operation are Lunch 11a-3p / Dinner 5p-9:30p Tuesday – Sunday and they are closed on Mondays. If I used the five star rating system, I would give Sitdha a perfect five. The ambiance is great, the food amazing and the service spot on.
Have you been to Sitdha? If so, please share your review below. If you have not, I hope you visit soon and please send me some pictures and share your experience below.