I remember living with my father after my mother passed away. It was an interesting/tricky time for the both of us. Dad was still hurting from losing his best friend of 40 years and I was starting a new business catering on motion picture sets. Needless to say our schedules were out of sync. When I was working, I was away 14 hours a day. When I was off, well, I was there all the time. For my dad, even after a long vacation, he had not adjusted to being retired and so I became the target of more than a few needling comments. Now please do not get the wrong idea. We were not the Bickersons, not at all. This was the best time for me, getting to know my father. I hope that he would say the same thing about me. I think he would. Although . . . I am sure that I challenged his thinking on more than one occasion. One time I remember in particular.
But let me set the stage a little first. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, Thai food was a rarity. I remember driving to Marin, from the East Bay, to meet a friend for Thai food because the restaurant had gotten such a good review. In fact, that was my first introduction to a spring roll and Pad Thai! Before that time the only option my family chose for Asian cuisine was an all you can eat Chinese buffet. With 5 kids and a stay at home mom, that was the best deal around. It was not until after I graduated Culinary School that I fully began to embrace the multitude of diverse cultural restaurants. Thai restaurants being the rule rather than the exception.
Back to my dad. So one night I had been out with friends for Thai and brought my leftovers home to the refrigerator. The next morning my father was up and about, bathrobe time, having his coffee and reading the newspaper. I awoke a short time after him and wandered downstairs a bit hungry. ‘What is that I spy?’ I said to myself. ‘Why, I spy Thai.’ I popped my leftovers into a bowl and zipped them into the microwave. My father looked up from his paper and steaming hot cup of Folgers, to ask, ”What are you eating?”
“Leftover Thai food.”
“For breakfast? Eggs are for breakfast. What did you learn in that school anyway?”
And so, I have one more memory of my father.
Yesterday I added another memory. Not of my father but of Thai food. I am working here in town and my friend Jorge wanted something different from burritos, burgers or Chinese food so I ran up to Maya Thai on Sonoma Blvd, next to the CVS. I decided to call ahead as they are often busy. My friend Tim Bonifay was the first to introduce me to Maya Thai. He had just started dating a close friend of mine and I needed to take him aside for the talk. He chose Maya Thai and listened patiently while I attempted to intimidate him. Well at least the food made an impression.
We had a lovely Papaya salad so light and fresh. To that we added two different curries: Red Chicken Curry and Yellow Vegetable Curry. Both were sweet and satisfying. My favorite part is to soak the rice in the curry sauce then try to eat it with my fork. Maya Thai is a little gem of a place and if you have not had the opportunity try it then by all means, get on up there. For those of you who know that of which I speak, you too must get on up there and, spy some Thai.
Until next time,
Eat Well and Smile Often