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5120 Crookshank Road
Cincinnati, OH 45238-3304 | (513) 421-6151
Since CV has infiltrated the Westside we have been examining the ethnic dining options there and found several surprises thus far. There is Americanized Mexican a-plenty, but no “real” Mexican has surfaced to us yet. There seems little in the way of Greek (They do have Sebastian’s and that’s as good as it gets). The lone Cajun offering is a corporate chain. There’s a couple few Japanese joints. The usual splatter of Ameri-Chinese places, but nothing hardcore authentic. You’ll need to drive across town to dine on Dim Sum. We’ve seen no Eastern European (including French, Irish and English). There is two German joints but that’s not many considering this is a German based community. Or at least it was at one time. We’ve found no Cuban or Spanish of any kind. No Korean, no Turkish (other than gyro). And crazily, no Indian whatsoever. No Indian! That’s nuts.
There is one Thai place and good Thai is a thing of beauty. Westwood’s Thai Taste has nothing but great online reviews, many harping on the smiling service and prices, not to mention the good food.
Pulling in I have to admit it doesn’t look like much. “This looks like one of those places... I get nervous about what goes on in the kitchen in places like this...” Commented my wife as we parked. “Great local’s reviews” I replied. “Besides, we only dig out the little guys.” It’s true too. CV readers should be well aware this paper completely ignores all article content such as Smashburger, Five Guys, Chipotle and the like. There are a few exceptions but they are indeed rare. That sh!t is perfect for Metro Mix, they eat it up, we spit it out.
Thai Taste is right up our alley. Almost unnoticeable with it’s unimpressive building set back off Crookshank, it barely looks open. Inside, half the dining room was dark (unlit to save electric no doubt, thrifty folks they are.) The half dozen or so tables right in front of the register and sushi display were brightly lit under high powered fluorescents. 70’s paneling, ancient white & black checkerboard tile floor under 80’s tables, chairs and booths summed up the theme. “Yep, this is what we’re looking for.” I knew it would be good. “It has to be good, how else could they still be here?”
We ordered a fish cake app, ($5) a Tofu Pad See Ew ($11.95) and a Shrimp Mee Pad ($13.95), both 7 of 10 spice level. The fried crisp fish cakes came with a cucumber-peanut-sugar-vinegar sauce. They were light & fresh, the sauce was perfect. A very decent treat indeed. Obviously handmade and a good portion too.
The Mee Pad is thin rice Mei Fun noodles with carrot, snow peas, cabbage, broccoli and green onion. It was bright, colorful and featured a Pad Thai style spicy-sweet sauce, not level 7 spicy but warm. If you like the Chinese Mei Fun dish, dig into one of these for sure. The shrimp cooked about 10 seconds too long but that didn’t detract much from the overall goodness of this fresh flavored dish.
The Pad See Ew is a personal fave for both of us, we compare all to Milford’s Tongs Thai. Thai Taste would do well to measure up half as good as Tongs Thai. The dish was decent, but not equal by any means. Sparse bits of broccoli, a big handful of fried tofu and noodles, it looked plain. The noodles were not the thick hand cut kind at Tongs Thai, just regular wide rice noodles. The sauce could have been smokier, they could have been more generous with the veggies and again the 7 of 10 spice was only warm. If you have never had Tongs Thai, you should order it, you’ll be glad as it’s a damn fine dinner. If you have had Tongs Thai, I’d try one of their other 40 dishes.
Perhaps one of the Thai Taste chef specialties would be worth a look see. Ginger walleye ($14.95), basil duck ($13.95) and shrimp clay pot ($14.95) all sound good. They offer the quintessential Ameri-Chinese too. If I lived nearby I’d work my through the whole menu eventually. Many people do as the take out orders rolled on and on.
I’m glad to give my money to Thai Taste for their food. The service was as reviewed, “Smiling, genuine and grateful”. I think these are good people, they serve good food and even though the Pad See Ew didn’t measure up to my bar, my Pad See Ew bar is set so high it’s very unlikely anyone else in Cincy can ever reach it. I consider Thai Taste a gem in a vast neighborhood devoid of good Asian.
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