I was delighted to try Som Bao Cafe with a good friend. It is definitely not somewhere on my usual travel route, but I see myself journeying there again for good Thai. She discovered Som Bao by way of Groupon and wanted to visit again so we headed out a couple weekends ago. We were greeted by a very friendly host and seated immediately. The decor is sparse but fits with the crisp and clean theme of the restaurant. Everything is very, very tidy which made me feel at ease. Clean and clutter free is never bad. Our waitress was very helpful and knew the menu inside and out.
We started with the Cucumber Salad ($7.95) which had Japanese style thin noodles with cucumbers, pineapple, tomatoes, lime juice and chili peppers. It was great, but it does have a kick to it so prepare yourself. Thai food is always 'clean' and healthy to me since a lot of the heavier ingredients, like cheese, are vacant from the dishes. With the salad, we ordered the Som Bao Spring Rolls ($3.75), as they were out of the vegetarian version of their Egg Rolls. Those were also fresh and came with the familiar spicy peanut sauce, but Som Bao's was a tad spicier than the usual. I like spicy food and this had a kick to me.
For my entree, I typically order Pad Thai with tofu when I eat Thai but I saw the Lazy Loa Noodles ($9.95) which included pineapple, so I had to ask how that was. She said it was one of their signature dishes and the pineapple gave the dish a sweetness along with the spice from the sauce. When I asked if they would add tofu and peanuts, she said no problem and that I could mix and match anything on the menu. I can customize, music to my ears! My friend ordered the Chicken Ka-Boun ($9.95), Japanese style noodles in a broth infused with lemon grass, galanga, kaffir, coconut milk, and red curry. [I deleted the picture by accident, but it is a beautiful dish!] She and I both love coconut milk and this might be the largest bowl of soup I have seen. Most Thai restaurants certainly give you your money's worth and Som Boa did not disappoint. Finally, I ordered a White Chocolate Boba Tea. I have had Boba once before in Portland, Oregon and it reminds me of a milkshake, just lighter. The white chocolate intrigued me and it was as good as it sounds. The 'beads' take a bit of getting used to, but overall I like Boba. After all that, we were finally ready to leave, stuffed. I ordered the Chicken Paid Thai ($9.95) to go for my other half and he was very pleased with the dish. I like to think of him as a good judge because he is a Chicken Pad Thai connoisseur. In addition to the take-out, we departed with leftovers which meant no food debacle the next day, a plus. Prices were extremely reasonable and serve was lighting fast. I look forward to venturing to Sam Boa again soon.
2476 Nimmo Parkway, Suite 101
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456