Mat and I used always be huge suckers for great Japanese and Thai noodle bowls back when we lived in Wilmington. In fact, we just about became regulars at Mama Fu’s, located at the Shops at Mayfair in Wilmington, N.C. Their Thai Basil was always a top choice with the fusion is spicy basil blended with the sweetness of red bell peppers meshing with each bite. Recently, we came to the realization that while we have had sushi, we have yet to even look for a good Thai place to get some spicy noodles!!
After a slow morning / early afternoon at work, and spotting Jillian Michaels coming out of Bob Harper’s spin class (eeeee!!!), we narrowed down a few potential casual Thai spots that would not dent our wallets. The first was Siam Cabin; however, after driving up and down the BLVD. it was nowhere to be found (or maybe we were completely oblivious). We ventured a little further in search of Monster Thai, located on Riverside Drive in Sherman Oaks. I was pretty skeptical about the place when we arrived: it looked like a small cheap takeout spot with a few nice tables; even their one bathroom was located in the back through the kitchen. Not to mention, we were their only patrons, and it was during the peak dinner hour. I was very hesitant to order anything because I basically assumed it would be cheaply made.
Lesson learned….never judge a first impression – they are never accurate.
Our waitress was incredibly understanding about how I had a specific taste / bowl that I am craving (which was my former Thai Basil from Mama Fu’s!). I tried to explain it as best as I could, and she helped me tweak one of their spicy basil leaves dishes and added in noodles, while ALSO taking out the majority of the oil for me!
That is when you know a restaurant is good: when they do all they can to cater to EXACTLY what you are craving. The spice was powerful, which was complimented perfectly with fresh full basil leaves, and an assortment of vegetables weaving throughout an abundance of thin Thai noodles. The portion was enormous, hence the name Monster Thai, and I pretty much had to force myself to stop myself and get the rest to go before gaining a food baby 😛 FYI, a food baby is that lovely bump I get far too often when you just cannot stop yourself from eating delicious food in one sitting!
Thai noodle bowls can be tricky in terms of health and nutrition; however, if you order wisely and request specifics, you can make any of it moderately healthy. The most important is to ask for little to no oil, because 95% of the time, the oil they use is EXTREMELY cheap and high in saturated fats. The second thing to remember is that they just about ALWAYS come in huge portion sizes…prepare yourself to get half to-go, or split it with someone.