Sometimes the best meals are enjoyed in the simplest of settings.
Like a good burrito at a hole-in-the-wall taco stand, some of the most delicious Thai food is enjoyed in a place that tempts you to just ask for takeout.
Thai Dheva could be considered such a place, although it’s not an unpleasant atmosphere by any means. It’s very clean and simple, but it lacks the typical festive décor often found in many of the area’s other Thai restaurants.
Located in a brick structure on a corner of West Grand Avenue in Grover Beach, Thai Dheva boasts large windows, but they capture the busy street rather than something picturesque. But I’d gladly forgo an oceanfront dining setting to return to Thai Dheva for its fantastic cuisine and friendly service.
Thai Dheva’s lunch specials are among the best around and include a soup-of- the-day, an entree and soda for about $8. Dinner choices are much more extensive although they only cost slightly more —between $8 and $14—many of which could serve two.
I’ve never before found a Thai soup that has impressed me as much as the soup-of-the-day I enjoyed.
It was a sweet-and-sour coconut milk-based soup packed with fresh vegetables. Broccoli, cabbage, carrots and zucchini were all just the right texture — with more crunch than most vegetables in soup — and had absorbed the slightly spicy flavor. The creamy broth was mostly sweet but had a nice kick to it.
As a person who usually pushes away their soup to save room for the entree, I finished mine and my friend’s.
The lunch menu choices are simple with a choice of chicken, beef, pork, vegetable or tofu in each entree. We tried the chicken, pork and tofu and were pleased with the freshness and texture of each.
The Pad Prik King ($8) was a pile of crispy-fried tofu, sautéed green beans and strips of red bell peppers, all in a pool of chili oil.
The dish was spicy and each ingredient was cooked to the perfect texture with the tofu quite crispy and green beans still holding onto their crunch. There was not as much fried sweet Thai basil in the dish as I was used to seeing, but it was very tasty, nonetheless.
The yellow curry ($8) was in a bowl filled with potatoes, chunks of chicken breast, carrots and onions, and served with a side of white rice. Mild as advertised, the dish was sweet, slightly creamy and would satisfy anyone’s craving for yellow curry.
The Pad Kra Prow ($8) was spicy as promised and filled with chunks of pork, onions, and red and yellow bell peppers, all drenched in a garlic and chili sauce. Flavorful, spicy and just the right texture between chewy and soft, this was a group favorite.
Thai Dheva has no liquor license, which may come as a surprise to those who visit for dinner, but the eatery offers a selection of teas, sodas and traditional Thai drinks that complements the authentic cuisine nicely.