Saturday, March 24, 2012

Jeera Thai

A few months ago when I was doing some holiday shopping at the Project Storefronts pop-up shops in New Haven, I spotted a new Thai restaurant on Crown Street.  It's wedged between a Nail salon and Bubble Tea place, all of which are making a go of it across from the new cooperative arts and humanities school.  I made a mental note to give the restaurant a try next time I was in the neighborhood, which is where I happened to find myself today.

After a week of summer-like weather, today's chill set the perfect stage for a bowl of noodles.  Jeera Thai does not disappoint in this arena, as there are many options to choose from.  There are also plenty of soups and curries as well.  I decided on the Pad Thai Miracle Noodles, which came with a good amount of my favorite veggie, baby bok choy.  You can choose from noodles made from tofu, yam or rice; I went with the traditional rice noodle.  The dish was topped with ground peanuts and had a flavorful combination of citrus and soy with a bit of sesame oil.

I started the meal with an order of Triple Mushroom Spring Rolls with Hawaiian Pineapple Dipping Sauce.  This was a good portion of super crisp and hot rolls filled with smoky mushrooms and cabbage.  The sweet and sour dipping sauce was the perfect contrast.

I jumped ahead and ordered dessert not realizing how filling my meal would be, but I was intrigued by the Yam Coconut Custard with Purple Sticky Rice.  Most of the time I get Mango Sticky Rice for dessert and have never had this dish before.  My server assured me it was vegan, so I decided to give it a try.

Served warm, the custard is light and spongy, and the sweet coconut cream is a luscious contrast to the savory sticky rice underneath.  I'm happy to know I now have a place for vegan dessert in New Haven!

Jeera Thai is a lovely little spot for a quick bite to eat serving creative dishes that surpass most Thai restaurants in the area.  There are only 4 stools beneath a narrow counter for seating, so unless you're prepared to bump and twist during your meal to allow diners and servers to squeeze past, I recommend takeout rather than dining in.  Or, once the weather warms up again, be sure to grab one of the 2 streetside tables for dining al fresco.

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