Ocean wave blue walls, volcanic red curry, and porcelain white decorations. From the name, to the food, to the interior: Blue Bay Thai is all about colors.
Blue Bay seems unassuming, planted in a nondescript strip mall along San Pablo Avenue. But the flavors and service are on point, offering customers exactly what they want — most of the time.
The restaurant was empty but teeming with energy during a recent lunch hour. The lunch crowd had yet to bustle in, but the wait staff were ready for the forthcoming challenge. Singing, chopping, setting the tables. It was clear the crew was in their element.
The restaurant has been open for years, and though the wait staff couldn’t offer much in the way of its history, the flavors and service of Blue Bay have garnered a passionate and dedicated following of patrons.
Eventually the restaurant filled nearly to capacity — a sign of the restaurant’s popularity. Many patrons appeared to be regulars, chatting with staff and barely glancing at the menu before ordering their usual. Though a little hidden in its strip mall, Blue Bay’s location is prime for those who work in the offices nearby. The restaurant is convenient, affordable, and, most importantly, delicious.
One of the most popular items is the red pumpkin curry. The dish is smoldering red with tiny flecks of hot orange oil, black pepper, and splashes of green Thai basil. The curry is a colorful and aromatic arrangement of ingredients, and it’s a must-have at the restaurant.
You have your choice of meat, but chicken is recommended to compliment the flavors of the dish. It’s a spicy dish, no doubt about it, but the heavy coconut milk base leaves the dish creamy and rich. It’s tempting to ditch the rice all together and gorge on the curry, meat, and veggies alone.
The pumpkin curry is one of Blue Bay’s most popular dishes, but its main ingredient can hold it back. Pumpkins aren’t exactly in season at the moment, and many of the chucks in my curry were chewy to the point of being difficult to eat. If you don’t mind working for your food, the flavors are worth it. Otherwise, it might be best to wait until the fall.
Overall, Blue Bay Thai is delicious, and even a little surprising in its quality. It’s the quintessential hole-in-the-wall restaurant, but it works for the tiny Thai joint. Give it a shot next time your hankering for some flavorful curry or an order of crab rangoon.
Blue Bay Thai
13501 San Pablo Avenue, San Pablo
Tel: (510) 232-4888
Monday - Thursday: 11:30 am to 10 pm
Friday: 11:30 am to 12 am
Saturday: 12 pm to 12 am
Sunday: 12 pm to 10 pm
View their Yelp page here.
Photo courtesy RasaMalaysia
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