Daughter Thai: Celebrating Thai Cuisine

Daughter Thai opened up about four months ago in Montclair Village in Oakland. I dined there once in December shortly after they opened and was pleasantly surprised by the space, the food, and the ambience. I found it to be a typical Montclair crowd, which is family friendly. I’ve been wanting to go back ever since and yesterday was the perfect evening to go as the restaurant was celebrating the Thai New Year.

Daughter Thai was decorated with multi colored pennant flags on the inside and outside of the restaurant. They also had carnival games, music, and dancing. Even the staff was festive wearing costumes and makeup in celebration of the New Year.  

Before we ordered, one of the staff came by with a tray of fried grasshoppers and fried worms, a Thai street food. At first I passed thinking to myself, “I have to pay to eat grasshoppers and worms? Shouldn’t someone pay me?”  
After second thought, I called her back. This is an exotic specialty and an opportunity. I bought the grasshoppers. My friend wasn’t brave enough to try, so I ate all three. I’m not sure how to describe them. They were just crunchy and didn’t really go down easily. It was sort of like eating a pumpkin seed shell. I’m glad I tried it as it will be an unforgettable experience.  
One of the dishes we ordered was the Southern Fish Curry or “Gang Thai Pla.” It is described as a pickled fish stew in tumeric, lemongrass, and exotic herbs with squash, eggplant, and green beans served with crispy pork belly and vermicelli noodles. When I ordered it, the waiter seemed to discourage ordering it by disclosing that this was a very authentic Thai dish that is very spicy and very fishy. We like authentic, spicy, and fishy, so we went with it.  It ended up that my friend liked it and I didn’t. She did prefer eating the stew with rice instead of the noodles that came with it. It had a funk to it and the fermentation was too pungent for my taste.
We also ordered the Chef’s Secret Menu which was Thai Herbed Chicken & Rice or “Khao Mok Gai.” It is something that is not always on their menu. It includes herbed chicken with fragrant yellow rice, potato stuffed roti, and bone broth. This was a perfect dish for my friend and I to share. I thought it was delicious and a great combination platter.  
I also have some recommendations from my first visit to Daughter Thai. I enjoyed the Tom Kha, which is coconut soup with mushrooms, tomato, cabbage, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, cilantro, and green onions. It had an excellent balance of flavors. 
The Ahi Scoops are pan seared sesame crusted Ahi tuna, cucumber, seaweed salad, crispy yam, dill, lemongrass, and chili lime. This is not a Thai dish to me, but it is one you want to make sure you order.
Although I have not eaten everything from the Daughter Thai menu, I already have a favorite. The crab fried rice is bomb. It’s got Dungeness crab meat, twice cooked rice, cage free egg, onion, tomato, and cilantro. It’s a simple dish that I could eat all the time.
If you enjoy Thai food, make your way to Daughter Thai in Montclair Village. They have some of the best and authentic Thai food in the Bay Area.  Happy Thai New Year!

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New Year’s Day

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Happy New Years! I’ve been attending the same New Years Party that my friends host for the past several years. I’ve also been coming to the house a day early to help with the festivities. This party is known as the pozole party because amongst other things, pozole is served. It’s always a great Mexican themed party with fantastic food. Here are my top five food and drink photos from the party.

5. The host is a tequila connoisseur. There were six options of tequila to choose. I enjoyed two shots of tequila, the Tonala Añejo and Tequila Ocho Añejo. I liked the latter the best. The tequilas were great especially with the delicious sangrita chaser.

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4. Homemade Chips and guacamole. I helped make the homemade chips on New Years Eve. It’s very important to use the right corn tortilla. Mi Rancho makes the best. I think people come to the party because of the chips and guacamole.

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3. Empanadas. This was new this year. We also made these the day before. We made meat empanadas and vegetarian empanadas. The meat empanadas had grass fed London broil, onions, jalapeños, various quality chili powders and spices, hard boiled egg, and green olives. The vegetarian empanadas were filled with butternut squash, onion, garlic, shitake mushrooms, goat cheese, pecans, and sage.

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2. Desserts. This annual party serves the best of desserts. The host also puts his hands into baking homemade desserts. He makes a wonderful lemon cake, Mexican chocolate cake, and flan. You really can’t ask for more but then he purchases some of the best cookies around from Miette bakery.

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1. You don’t call this the pozole party for nothing. Hours of love go into this comfort food. Pozole is a Mexican stew made of chicken stock, nixtamal, pork, chicken, and other seasonings. Once you fill your bowl, you add oregano, red onions, avocado, and lime juice.

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Thank you P&B for a wonderful party. Cheers to 2012! May good food and drinks be with you!