4005 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Date of Visit: October 29, 2009
Price for 2 (with tip) $16
Though there was nothing particularly Vietnamese or Thai (as the sign implies) about the lunch I ate at Thanh Thao, it definitely is in the running for my favorite new lunch spot on Hawthorne. Today’s visit was actually our second attempt to each there. The first was on Tuesday, the one day a week they are closed. That day, we ended up eating at No Fish, Go Fish right across the street instead, so it wasn’t all bad.
Thanh Thao is decent sized and was nearly full with diners, which is always a good sign. We were seated quickly and given the lunch menu, which includes a list of lunch specials as well as some classic dishes and tons of drinks. I resisted a cocktail and went with the Chicken with Mushrooms and Snow peas lunch special. All the lunches come with vegetarian hot and sour soup, a spring roll, fried or white rice and fried won tons. Jared also ordered off the lunch menu, getting sweet and sour tofu. Like I said before, both of these dishes seemed more “generic Asian” than what I’ve come to expect at Thai or Vietnamese places, but that’s not to say they weren’t good. In fact, my dish was super flavorful, no added soy sauce needed. At first I was a little bummed that the spring roll didn’t come with any dipping sauce, but then I just started sopping up the extra sauce from my entree with it and was perfectly happy. The best thing on the plate though honestly, was the friend won tons. They were so light and crispy and obviously right from the fryer.
Before we’d even finished eating, the waiter set down the check on the table. This place was winning on all accounts. That is, until I opened my fortune cookie and found NO FORTUNE! I made a little pouty face until Jared opened his and found it contained two fortunes, so I got one after all. And with that, Thanh Thao is a new favorite place for sure.
Speed: Really fast
Veggie options: It’s the lonest section of the lunch menu, plus all side dishes are vegetarian