J&T Thai Street Food – San Diego (Linda Vista)
Christmas came early this year with the arrival of J&T Thai Street Food. They have just been open for a couple of months now and already I’ve come here a few times. They are just on Linda Vista Rd. West of University of San Diego.
So here’s the thing. I love Thai food. So when Darren mentioned he had a new Thai restaurant on his radar, I was the first in line to try this place out. This place is great! Vibrant flavors, great prices, and two of my favorite things… Hainan Chicken and Pad Thai! I don’t usually jump straight to the food pics, but checkout the chicken pad thai and satay appetizer all for ~$10!
J&T’ has a fast casual setup in which you order from the counter and find your own seating afterwards. Their menu is simple, but reasonably priced. They also have a few drinks like Thai Ice Tea/Coffee ($2.75/each), as well as some other specials teas which I haven’t tried yet.
For those of you not familiar with Hainan Chicken, it’s poached boneless chicken over lemongrass flavored rice and served with a tangy garlic sauce…. delish. There are a few different renditions of this dish I’ve seen over the years, my favorite being at Savoy in the Los Angeles area. (Sadly the Savoy I once knew no longer exists and their quality has degraded over the past few years). Nonetheless, this void has kept me searching for a decent Hainan chicken both in San Diego and anywhere I may travel. In fact, just a few months ago, Jorgina and I took a trip up to Oregon and got to checkout the food pod experience (Instead of food trucks, Portland has a bunch of food pods offering an array of cuisines packed within a square mile). While we were there, we encountered and tried Nong’s Khao Man Gai… highly recommended if you ever have a chance to visit (this is the first place we encounted a Thai spin on Hainan Chicken). Anyhow, J&T’s Hainan Chicken (aka Steamed Chicken Rice on their menu) is pretty darn good. It’s not quite to the level of Nong’s or Savoy’s, but it’s close. My main critique is their sauce is a touch too pungent for my liking. But, that doesn’t stop me from devouring the entire portion at a time. You can order it with or without skin.
They also have a few curries for a reasonable price. However, I wouldn’t say that the curries are their forte. While it was decent, I felt it lacked the rich flavors I’ve had elsewhere like Sab-e-lee. The spices are also relatively mild. One nice thing however is it comes with rice. This is the yellow curry with chicken below.
So, the chicken pad thai here is one of my favorite things. You will find this made so many different ways around San Diego, but this one in particular has the best balance of sweet and savory IMHO. Portion sizes are decent and it goes perfectly with a Thai iced coffee.
The chicken satay is also very tasty. It’s incredibly moist and well flavored. The sweet peanut sauce adds one more nuance to the dish. I ordered this the last 3 times I’ve been here, so that should say something. It’s nice that this appetizer comes as an individual portion of just 2 skewers.
I’ve tried several other dishes the other times I’ve been here (eg. Steamed Pork Leg, Red Curry with Beef, etc.) and while I wouldn’t say they are as good as my favorites mentioned above, they are all decent for the price.
Overall, I’m very happy that J&T’s Thai Street Food has made its way to San Diego. It’s awesome food at an awesome price. Keep up the great job guys!!
BTW, the also open pretty late – perfect for late dining owls like me.
J&T Thai Street Food 5259 Linda Vista Rd
San Diego, CA 92110 (619) 294-7500