Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thai Pavilion - I Could Do Without It

Thai Pavilion - 23-92 21st Street, Astoria NY 11105
N/W Train to Astoria Blvd

I enjoy Thai food and Astoria has some good options with Wave Thai, Thai Elephant, Bangkok Tasty and others.  In addition to these restaurants, I've also heard good things about Thai Pavilion, which now has two locations--one on 30th Avenue and the other near Astoria Park.  I recently visited the latter location with mixed results.  While I wasn't completely disappointed, I'm not rushing to go back.

Located on the ground floor of the large Pistilli building on 24th Avenue and 21st Street, Thai Pavilion is neighbor to Da Franco Italian restaurant.  The two establishments are so different that they're not competitive.

The space at Thai Pavilion is really expansive - I think a little too much so, given that it's never full.  There's an outdoor area to sit, which is nice, especially on a warm day like today.  Interior decor is modern and simplistic but a little devoid of character.  I like when Asian restaurants insert their own cultural touches into decor, whether it's through art, music or little embellishments such as good luck charms and symbolic figures.  Sadly, this location had none of that.

I'd call the food mediocre - while there wasn't anything particularly wrong with it, it just didn't excite us.  I was sorry this was the case, as I usually really enjoy Thai food.

Vegetable Dumplings - We ordered these as a starter and looked forward to them.  They arrived piping hot in their full fried glory.  While they looked impressive, with a crunchy crust, once we bit into them, Meg and I both thought they were too oily.  Of course, I know that when you get something fried, some extra oil is normal but this was too much.  The inside of the dumpling was really good, filled with scallions and slightly sticky dough.  We each had a small bite but couldn't finish it because of the excessive oiliness.

Pad Khow-Pod - My main course was a stir fry dish, which I ordered with chicken.  It consisted of a mixture of sautéed baby corn, mushrooms, onions and bell peppers.  The veggies were really delicious and I especially loved the baby corn - it's one of my favorite ingredients in stir fry and I think it goes great with soy sauce.  My only complaint was about the chicken (ummm...the main ingredient).  It had a weird aftertaste and I question the quality.  As a result, I left most of it on my plate.

Eggplant Dish - Meg went all vegetarian and ordered an eggplant stir fry with chili, garlic, onions, basil leaves and bell peppers.  Our waiter warned her that it's a bit spicy but she didn't mind.  While I didn't try her dish, she said it was just mediocre and the eggplant was a bit tough. 

Service and Cost:
Our server was nice and treated us well.  I liked that our appetizer came out quickly, and the entrees were brought out in good time as well.  Once our other friends showed up for cocktails at the end of the meal, we weren't rushed out to leave.  It was nice to know that we can just chill and hang out as long as we wanted.

Costs are very reasonable, as is the case with Thai restaurants:

Appetizers: $5-$8
Salads: $5-$9
Stir Fry: $9-$12
Noodles: $7-$9
Lunch Special: $7-$9

1.5 Mmmms


  1. My favorite thai place in Astoria is Wave Thai : )
    it's so yummy!!!!!

  2. As for Thai Pavilion....I thought it was a rip off. It was way too expensive and the vegetables they used seemed so bland and boring. I've had far better thai food in the city doing far less damage on my wallet. I don't recommend this place. I've had better luck at Green Curry on Ditmars BLVD and the decor is so much better.

  3. I agree Jman. I wasn't impressed at all. I prefer Bangkok Tasty, Wave Thai and Thai Elephant.

  4. At the 30th Ave location, Thai Pavilion has changed how they cook and present their veggie dumplings. They're much smaller, almost like cubes, and nowhere near as oily (which I had to agree with you on.)

  5. Good to know Sirbeef. I had the most amazing scallion pancakes at a place called Elaine's on Long Island. It's in Great Neck (on the border of Queens). Now THAT was good Asian food!

  6. Thai Pav gets better if you go more often. The people there are really friendly and after getting to know them and letting them cook for you without looking at the menu the food leaves everyday thai joint and gets much tastier. Also, if you like spice, tell them to crank it up.

  7. Hey there,
    The Thai Pavilion on 30th closed recently. Do you know if the one on 21st did as well??
    The website is down too.



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