Hooked on Sukhothai

While photographs of Thai noodle dishes, Chinese soups and Vietnamese pho adorn the outside windows of Sukhothai, it’s the curries that are the star of the menu at this Eastside restaurant.

Sukhothai offers an expansive menu of Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, offering more than 70 dishes that range from $15 to $25.

While the inside is small, it’s functional and the service is fast (I didn’t have to wait more than 10 minutes for my entree to be served).

I’m partial to the Pa Nang Curry with beef. The homemade blend of herbs and spices complemented the sweet taste of coconut milk and peanuts.

The Chinese side of the menu boasts an array of soups (I’m partial to the hot and sour), along with chicken, pork and beef dishes, including my favorite, lemon chicken.

While Sukhothai’s version of the dish is more American than Chinese (a traditional Chinese lemon chicken skips the deep frying), I say Sukhothai makes the best “Americanized” lemon chicken on the island.

Thinly cut pieces of boneless chicken breast are battered and deep fried to a perfect crunch, and a zesty lemon sauce is drizzled on top. It’s easy to overcook this dish or have it served with a thin veil of oil, but the chefs at Sukhothai manage to escape these pitfalls.

The gold standard of any Thai restaurant is measured by its Pad Thai, and this dish of stir-fried rice noodles, eggs, fish sauce, chili peppers and lots of vegetables didn’t disappoint.

The spring rolls are wrapped in rice paper stuffed with vermicelli, served with a sweet dipping sauce with crushed peanuts.

The Vietnamese portion of the menu is a bit abbreviated, offering summer rolls, Pong’s Creation (rice noodle sautéed in yellow curry), plus a seafood and beef dish.

Vegetarians will love the wide selection of vegetable and tofu dishes.

If you’re looking for some heat in your dish, request that the chef add more spices. Most dishes are mild and lack a spicy punch.

The staff at Sukhothai is friendly, in that no nonsense type of way. Food is served fast and portions sizes are moderate. The Eastside restaurant also offers takeout.

Most everything on the menu is good, evident by the crowds that fill the restaurant in the evening. Sukhothai serves up excellent Thai food at the right price.

Sukhothai is located in the Kapa‘a Shopping Center (next to Time’s Big Save Market) at 4-1105 Kuhio Hwy, Suite 4, in Kapa‘a. The restaurant is open from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., daily.

For more information, call 821-1224.

Best Bet: Curry dishes. With more than a half-dozen to choose from, these dishes made up of curry, meat, vegetables and coconut milk will cure both sweet and spicy cravings at the same time.

Skip: The Vietnamese menu. The Thai dishes are the star of the show, and there are better options when you are craving a bowl of pho.

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