Thai Bistro’s dishes are brightly colored and prepared with a wide variety of ingredients and herbs. Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of traditional Thai food is its spiciness. Thai Bistro co-owner Ly Phommachan remembers the Thai custom of finishing a zesty meal with a bite into a chili pepper. For those with sensitive palates, though, Thai Bistro can prepare dishes with mild spiciness.
The chicken mango ($9.95), a chicken breast sautéed with mango and vegetables in a sweet and sour mango sauce, is one of Phommachan’s favorite dishes. She said the grilled Australian lamb ($13.95) is also very popular. The lamb is marinated in Thai herbs and served with pineapple, asparagus, peanut sauce and spicy sauce. The menu also features numerous curry, barbecue and other traditional Thai delectables. Lunch, served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., offers many choices, all under $10. Lunch items are served with rice and salad.
Appetizers include deep-fried fish cakes served with cucumber and ground peanuts in sweet and sour sauce ($7.95) and Siamese rolls ($7.95; $6.95 at lunch), similar to a Chinese egg roll. You might want to order a creamy Thai iced tea ($2) with your meal or fried banana with coconut ice cream ($4.95) for dessert.
Eating is a community activity in Thailand. Phommachan said neighbors often know each other like family, and prepare and share food together. “I knew how to cook when I was 8 years old,” she said. Born in Laos, Phommachan moved at the age of 12 to Thailand, where she experienced new ways of cooking.
When she came to the United States in 1986, she used that experience at her first job in a Thai restaurant in San Francisco. There she met Guy and Lake Siumpol from Thailand and the three of them became friends. On Lake’s suggestion, the three decided to open their own Thai restaurant. Phommachan described their optimistic outlook on success: “We won’t know until we try.”
Six years ago, they opened their first Thai restaurant in Davis with some help and advice from their former employer, and after selling the original location last year they opened the Antioch restaurant in June.
Phommachan invites Antioch and the surrounding communities to “come, and eat” and experience Thai food and culture.
Thai Bistro, located at 5019 Lone Tree Way, Suites C-D in Antioch, is open Sundays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Fridays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call 925-753-1355. Orders to go and catering are available.