Bear Bites: Sang’s Thai Isaan Restaurant
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“What the heck is a Thai Isaan Restaurant?” I asked myself this when I first took a good look at the menu of Sang’s. I had first seen this restaurant when I went across the road to the La D Da Bistro.
The only part of the sign that I read was Isaan. I misread it as Indian, so my friends and I came into the restaurant expecting Indian food. Little did we know that this new Thai place had opened up right across from that other new Thai place, La D Da, only weeks apart.
Let me correct myself in saying that Sang’s is a completely new Thai place, because Sang’s had a previous location on Pio Nono, which closed almost 20 years ago.
I will also correct myself in calling Sang’s a Thai restaurant, because supposedly the Isan region of Thailand, from which the restaurant gets its name, has its own unique cuisine.
This Thai restaurant, regardless of it being Isaan, was in fact, an average to below average experience that certainly pales in comparison to its competitor La D Da.
The Grilled Chicken
We started off our trip into “traditional” Thai cuisine that night with a grilled chicken appetizer. The chicken was tender and grilled excellently. Plus, it came with a sweet chili sauce that was delicious.
The Mongolian Beef
“Why is an ‘authentic’ Thai place serving something called Mongolian Beef?” I asked myself when I read this item on the menu. Side note: I asked a lot about this restaurant throughout the night.
Regardless, Ali Sadeq, a pre-pharm international student from Kuwait, decided to order that when he came with us. Sadeq had never tried Thai food (he was on the trip for Indian), so he wanted to try this simple approachable dish.
He was rewarded with a good, simple meal.
“I really like the beef with the rice, and the mushrooms were perfect,” Sadeq said.
The Thai Dessert Drinks
Probably tied with the chicken for the best part of the night, we tried both the Thai tea and Thai coffee at the end of our meal. They were sweet and refreshing ways to finish the meal.
The Glass Noodles
Glass Noodles, called Woo Sen, are these delightful, thin noodles that are made from starch and water. Peter Garcia, my favorite food photographer, ordered the glass noodles with seafood that night.
He thought the noodles were excellent, but the seafood and veggies were both not up to par. He said the onions were undercooked, and the squid in his dish was rubbery and not at the same temperature as the shrimp.
One of the photos on the menu still had the watermark from whatever stock image site it was taken from. Classy. Also, some of the items said that they came with sides, though we were never asked what sides we wanted and were simply given rice and veggies. Confusing.
This one is personal. I decided to be brave and go against my better judgement, and I ordered something called the Cry Tiger Steak, which was advertised as the best steak in Macon. What I received was not quite that.
The Good: the steak was deliciously seasoned and marinated. The Questionable: though overall cooked well, it did have some burnt spots. The Bad: “Why did I spend $30 on a $10 steak?”
I had a lot to say about this place, but to sum it up, it is mediocre. The food lacked specific identity.
Peter liked it more than I, because he was thoroughly impressed by the noodles, but I left feeling like I just wasted my money. I would much rather have the Thai food of La D Da, or the real best steak in Macon at The Tic Toc Room.