Monday, February 16, 2009

Thepmonggon: Thai food to stop for

Sometimes it pays to be adventuresome, especially when it comes to food.

During my trip to California, my sister, Pam, and cousin, Cynthia, were on a day trip to Pt. Reyes, a beautiful jut of land north of San Francisco. We had ventured from Windsor, California through the back roads with a stop at the beautiful Armstrong Redwood Grove.

As we got closer to Pt. Reyes we started to think about eating lunch. Because we were close to the ocean we wanted to find a dining place on the water. So we traveled through Tomales Bay (a major oyster harvesting area) and then through Pt. Reyes Station. I remembered that there were a number of eating places along the road to Pt. Reyes.

We passed a couple, but still held out for a place on the water, not just near the water.

We came to a motel next to a Thai restaurant on the water, and at the urging of my companions I stopped to seek human directions to a place to eat. My GPS, which I never travel far without, had indicated that there was a place called "Barnaby's" near where we were.

A man doing repairs to the motel told me that I was actually standing next to "Barnaby's" except that it was now "Thepmonggon" and it served Thai food. He also told us it was the last eating establishment on the peninsula before we got to Pt. Reyes. So I went back to the car, not excited about a Thai food lunch, but my cousin argued that they must have a fish and chips or other American dish for travelers not into the exotic.

Reluctantly, we entered the completely empty restaurant and asked to see the menu. Not one non-Thai dish on the menu. The owner talked a good game and so, instead of back tracking for some American food we sat down and decided to try the Thai offerings.

The owner suggested a few dishes we could share and started bringing them. I can't tell you when I've had a better meal. We had Netted Prawns (deep fried prawns wrapped with egg noodles), Chicken Corn cake, Taro Egg Rolls and Chicken Sate (a marinated chicken breast with Thai herb, served with peanut sauce and cucumber salad. (Total $15.95).

Next he brought a large bowl of Thepmonggon Tom Kha Coconut Soup (enough for three people - $9.95) that was so good we only stopped eating it when we realized we had ordered two other dishes to share.

Our next dish was Asparagus Prawn sauteed in red curry sauce with Thai herbs and bell peppers. ($15.95)

Finally, we ended with Pad See Eww, a pan fried egg noodle sauteed with oyster sauce, broccoli, garlic, carrot, egg with beef. ($15.95)

We took home cartons of the leftovers of last two offerings because we were too full of soup and everything else. The man's wife, who was Thai was the main chef and her niece was her assistant and obviously had great skill in the kitchen.

In our conversations with the owner he admitted that many folks stop, look at his menu and move on without staying so soon he is going to add those American comfort items that might keep them in his place, but it will be too bad because they will miss a true taste adventure.

Much of our conversation that afternoon revolved around our decision to stay at that restaurant and try something new and how glad we were that we did.

So if you ever find yourself on the peninsula heading out to Pt. Reyes and hungry at the same time, do yourself a favor and stop at Thepmonggon, 12938 Sir Frances Drake Blvd. (Inverness, Ca.) you will not be sorry.

"Thepmonggon" Thai on the Bay: Where East meets West Marin. As in Marin County.

2 comments: said...

One of my few regrets about living in the Midwest is that I've yet to find a Thai restaurant up to what you find in either the NY or LA areas.

The Sanity Project said...

Thai food is soooooooooo amazing and Tom Kha Gai is quite possibly the best food ever. There are a few good places here for thai food. I also am digging Cambodian food and Vietnamese.. mmmmmm