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Thai Spices

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Lodi might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think Thai cuisine. Bun Goble, owner and head chef at Thai Spices in Lodi, wants you to reconsider that.

Growing up on her family’s farm in the Northeast region of Thailand, Bun was exposed to delicious, fresh foods and aromatic spices that she developed a deep connection to. Her family grew rice, tapioca, corn and other vegetables and herbs. Bun loved spending time in the kitchen and developed a genuine appreciation for the dishes she grew up enjoying.

The smells of spices such as turmeric, ginger, lemongrass and cilantro that filled Bun’s childhood can now be found in her Lodi kitchen at Thai Spices.

Bun moved to the United States in 2001 from Saipan. She had moved to Saipan for work when she was 19. It was there that she refined her skills in the kitchen. Only six years later she opened her Lodi restaurant, Thai Spices. She didn’t have any friends in the area or know anyone who could support her new venture. But she trusted her palate and her knowledge of authentic Thai dishes. Bun opened her business in Lodi for sentimental reasons. “Lodi reminds me of Thailand. All the farmers and the crops remind me of where I come from. I love Lodi,” Bun said.

And Lodi has been very good to Bun. She has found the local farmers and winemakers to be very supportive. In fact, Van Ruiten Winery was one of Bun’s early supporters that helped spread the word about Thai Spices and encouraged others to try something new. “I am grateful to the farmers who help support my business. When they told other people about me, my business grew.”

Bun’s food is fresh, bright and delicious. She is committed to using the finest ingredients available. Bun told me 80 percent of her menu is gluten free. She asserted that while some people might be skeptical about whether her menu is really as healthy as she claims, she has won people over once they try her food. “People like that we offer healthy choices. We don’t use MSG or preservatives in our kitchen. Everything is made fresh with the best ingredients.”

A misconception about Thai food being too spicy is one that Bun is quick to refute. “My food is not spicy. My food has flavor from the spices. I can make it spicy or mild depending on what the customer likes, or they can add it at the table.”

For this tasting, we sampled a variety of dishes from both the lunch and dinner menus. The dishes were lovingly prepared by Bun herself. The presentation was absolutely breathtaking.  I fell in love with the intricate and delicate Thai vegetable carvings that adorned each dish.

 

Green Curry

You can order your green curry with a choice of chicken, beef or pork. We had the chicken. Whichever protein you choose is then simmered in green curry and coconut milk with snow peas, bell peppers, green peas and basil. This is an aromatic masterpiece! The green curry dish has so much flavor but it’s not too spicy.

 

Pineapple Fried Rice

Wok-fried shrimp and chicken are combined with fresh pineapple, onion, peas and carrots and topped with cashews. Call me crazy, but this was my first time having pineapple rice; it will definitely not be the last. I adored the combination of pineapple and cashews with the savory rice. If you are new to Thai food, this could be a great place to start.

 

Jungle Curry

Scallops, prawns, calamari and mussels are sautéed in red curry with bell peppers, green beans and pumpkin. This is a wonderful option for the seafood lover. My family really enjoyed this one and I love that it’s a heart-healthy dish.

 

Pad Ka Pow Moo

This is a dish of ground pork sautéed in garlic sauce with onion and bell pepper and served with roti, a tortilla-type flatbread. This is a flavorful option that I highly recommend. I love garlic and this dish did not disappoint.

 

Bun makes every effort to bring fresh, local ingredients into her kitchen. She is committed to using the finest ingredients available. In fact, 90 percent of the produce she buys is certified organic. Bun said, “I know there are other alternatives but I want my customers to have the best.”
A love of cooking and using her hands motivates Bun to continue creating masterpieces in the kitchen. But there’s another reason that’s very important to her: to spread awareness about the importance of developing healthy eating habits to support a healthy life.
Sadly, Bun’s mom died from diabetes. Bun wants to teach her customers that choosing healthier alternatives can make a big difference in the long run. For her part, Bun swaps regular white sugar for coconut sugar. She encourages people to experiment with flavors and to try something new. I appreciate Bun’s dedication to healthy food without compromising flavor and I know you will too! HLM
Thai Spices is located in Woodlake Plaza at 2401 W. Turner Road, Suite 224, in Lodi, California. You can call ahead at (209) 369-8424 and also find them on line at thaispices-lodi.com.