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Thai Restaurant With a Clever Twist in Cotati

Spring Thai in Cotati gets spinach done right

Sometimes just when you think you’ve eaten pretty much everything the world has to offer, a fried spinach salad hits you upside the head and suddenly you’re reminded that there’s a whole world of cuisine just waiting to settle directly on your hips.

Cotati’s Spring Thai, which features that crispy salad and a host of other surprising-yet-familiar dishes, is the latest entrant to Oliver’s shopping center. Though the small restaurant space has been cursed for a host of other restaurants, the good news is that there’s something to cheer about here.

Red curry at Spring Thai restaurant in Cotati. Heather Irwin/PD
Red curry at Spring Thai restaurant in Cotati. Heather Irwin/PD

With entertaining menu items like batter-dipped spinach, a starter parade of appetizers worthy of tooting about, and a Pad Thai with actual wok hay (or the “breath” of a hot wok) Spring Thai’s passion for the exotic cuisine of southeast Asia is clear. 

Best Bets:
– Starter Parade ($15.99): This appetizer is entree-level filling, with fried veggie spring rolls, fresh vegan spring rolls, crab “pouches” filled with cream cheese, satay, Thai “bruschetta” with peanut sauce and shrimp, cucumber salad, peanut sauce, creamy vinaigrette and fish sauce. Plus, it just looks so darn pretty. One of my favorite appetizer spreads.

Red Curry, ($9.99 for lunch, $12.99 for dinner): I’m typically more of a green or pumpkin curry gal, but this red curry, with anise-y Thai basil, tofu and fresh green beans was fragrant and thinner than most coconut-based curries, though a little mild on the spice. We weren’t asked how spicy we liked our food, so I’ll be mild in my critique that most of the dishes here lacked the spicy zing I usually like in Thai food. If I’d had my druthers, I’d turn up the heat to like 3-4 instead of a 1.5. 

Noodle soup at Spring Thai in Cotati. Heather Irwin/PD
Noodle soup at Spring Thai in Cotati. Heather Irwin/PD

House Noodle Soup ($9.99): Go for the shrimp version of you’re a seafood fan, otherwise, it can be a bit ho-hum. We loved the intense peanut flavor and the sweetness, though again, a little spice isn’t a bad thing. Hard-boiled egg, yes. Missing the usual crispy onions. Leftovers were dinner gold–warm or cold–over rice.

Pad Thai ($8.99 for lunch, $10.99 for dinner): With a lattice of egg holding it together, this unique version of the Thai standby is a compact football of noodles. Very compact and very dense with little meat. We liked the hint of smoke in it, but wouldn’t mind a bit more punch of fish sauce or tamarind. Not to ketchup-y, which is always a sign of laziness in Thai cooking.

– Fried Spinach Salad ($7.99): Though more of a Filipino dish, when doused in fish sauce vinaigrette and covered with cashews and red onion, it’s hard to argue about origins. A must-order. 

– Peanut sauce: The measure of any Thai restaurant, in my book, is the peanut sauce–which is actually satay sauce.  Can’t be too thin or too thick. Can’t taste like Jiffy. Should be warm. And if it’s really the good stuff, a little float of red curry happening around the edges. Spring Thai hits it on all counts.Just a couple weeks into service, the restaurant has potential if the kitchen can get up to speed. Maybe it was an unfortunate day, but our meal lasted almost two hours, and not because we were such great conversationalists. 

Spring Thai Restaurant, 538 E. Cotati Ave., Cotati, 707-665-5180, springthai.net.

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Comments

10 thoughts on “Thai Restaurant With a Clever Twist in Cotati

  1. Had dinner there last night. Service was attentive and friendly, atmosphere was delightful, and our entrees were delicious. Spring Thai’s version of spring rolls are interesting with beets and avocado, and the peanut sauce they came with was very good. We had the Crab Fried Rice and Pumpkin Curry, both of which were excellent. Mary, the chef, checked on us a couple of times, along with our waiter, to have a conversation and make sure all was well. Dine-in traffic was light, but take-out business was brisk. Only 5 weeks in, so definitely still some bugs to be worked out, but we’ll be back for more!

  2. horrible horrible horrible!!! hubby went today for lunch, waited 50 minutes for spring rolls and some coconut soup. when they FINALLY arrived, the soup was too spicy to eat (after careful instructions for VERY mild soup) — the spring rolls were rolled so loose that they came apart at the first bite. seriously, DO NOT eat here — this place is a hot mess!! better to make a PB&J at home, or go on a fast!!

    1. So let me get this straight: you didn’t even eat there, your husband did—yet you’re posting a bad review against a brand-new restaurant, urging people not to eat there? Wow.

  3. Delicious, wonderful service. Best Thai food I have had since the last time I ate in Bangkok! Starter Parade is outstanding.

  4. Went a couple of weeks back, you are correct about the pad Thai, it was good, but totally lacking the chicken meat we ordered in it, we actually didn’t find any after pulling it apart and had to send it back, only to be told there were a “couple’ of small pieces at the bottom, so they added a couple more small pieces, really small..
    The peanut sauce is the reason we will go back, the peanut curry is awesome, they just need put an acceptable amount of meat in it, as it almost had the same issue as the pad Thai.

  5. I went there last weekend and the restaurant was full for lunch and the service was amazing and i got a free Thai iced tea for checking in on yelp. I ordered soup because it so good on a hot day and i asked for it extra spicy and they made its pretty spicy and they brought me acute little tray for hot chilies and i made it even hotter. It hit the spot just right and i wasn’t in a food coma when i went back to work but i was full. I love this place and i will be a regular customer!

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