Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Restaurant Review: Hot Basil

In an effort to break away from the quinoa and bean based meals we’ve been cooking at home, C and I checked out a “new to us” Thai restaurant this weekend, Hot Basil. We first heard about Hot Basil on a local PBS show called Check Please. If you live in the KC area and love food, I highly recommend watching Check Please. It’s a restaurant review program where people just like me and you get to recommend and try new restaurants and then discuss their experiences. C and I frequently discuss being on this show, we have even pulled up the application, but we can’t think of a restaurant to recommend that we haven’t already seen on the show. Bummer.

Hot Basil is in Overland Park at 119th and Metcalf. It’s a little hard to spot since it’s in a strip mall and blocked from the street by another building, but it’s worth finding. The atmosphere was great. It’s a small restaurant but not over crowded with tables. I think this helped keep the noise level down, even when the place was pretty full. I recommend making a reservation if you want to go on a weekend especially. We went Saturday night and had a reservation for 7:30. It seemed relatively empty when we showed up, but the place was full by the time we left. We were very impressed with the service, as our table was already set, with menus, when we arrived.

We went a little overboard with our menu selections. It’s all in the name of research. Trust me.

Appetizer: We ordered the Trio. It was part of the chef’s special and came with 2 vegetarian spring rolls, 2 vegetarian egg rolls, and 4 cream-cheese Rangoon. It was all delicious, but the vegetarian spring rolls did leave a little to be desired as they were mostly lettuce and bean sprouts filling. The appetizer was $10, but definitely had enough food for at least 4 people (or 2 hungry researchers) so we felt like it was a good deal.

Main course: I ordered the Phad Thai with tofu. C ordered the Spicy Peanut with shrimp (remember we allowed ourselves fish/seafood for Lent). We both ordered medium spice, which was just perfect for us. If you like spicy food but still like to enjoy what you’re eating, you should be good with medium. The prices for each main course were around $11-$12 and the portions were generous. I even took some of mine home, which made for a delicious Sunday lunch.

Dessert: We don’t always order dessert when we go out, but since we were at a Thai restaurant, we wanted to try something that would be a little different. We opted for the Fried Banana. This came with 4 halves of banana, each wrapped and fried in a wonton wrapper and a HUGE heap of vanilla ice cream drizzled with honey. Again, this could have EASILY served 4 people, but we were more than happy to finish it off between the 2 of us.

Overall our experience was really great. The service was fast and attentive. Our server was very nice about accommodating our no-meat options and answering our questions. I was even impressed that they thought to ask if I wanted egg in my Phad Thai since I had ordered Tofu and other vegetarian options already. The prices seemed very fair, especially given the quantity of food you get. Overall our bill before tip came out to right at $50. We felt this was pretty good for a large appetizer, two entrees, a large dessert, and 2 import beers (Chang from Thailand for C, and Sapporo from Japan for me).

So if you’re looking for a good Thai place in the metro area, you should check out Hot Basil!

No comments: