I've been here serveral times. The food never disappoints. Their dishes are fresh and full of flavor. I love their beef satay! Their service on the other hand could be better. Throw on a smile...it doesn't hurt.
The staff and owners provide poor service and are argumentative. One gets the impression that there is a price to pay for their reasonable prices, and they have that attitude in all they do.
We took two vendors there today for lunch (1/26/09), recommending the place to them. I had already had one bad experience months ago involving the same attitude (got my order wrong and put no meat in it, but wanted to charge for the meat anyway) but I decided to give it another try.
One member of our party asked for her glass of water to be taken back because it had particles floating in it and the server argued with her, saying it was lemon. No lemon was requested and there was no lemon slice in the water.
At the conclusion of our meal, two of us had mounds of food left and requested boxes to take the food home. The waiter brought one small Chinese-style take out box for each. It was painfully obvious that the food would not fit in it, so we asked for a bigger container. The waiter did not return but after a few minutes, the same server who argued with us about the water returned and took our plates, saying she would box the food for us. She brought back the SAME small container originally presented, only half full, for each of us!! This was an obvious, obvious attempt to either cut costs who to show us who was boss. I mean, it WAS our meal and we did PAY for it, right? The reason we had so much food was because we ordered two satay appetizers and there was no attempt to box that until we requested it. I guess lefovers aren't part of the deal at this place and don't dare ask for a container to fit your meal! They will decide what and how much goes home with you.
I could go on and on about not being able to substitute one soup for another with the luncheon meal and refusing to take AMEX, but in the end all I am left with a bad taste in my mouth and the resolve to never, ever again return to this pitiful excuse for a Thai restaurant, let alone recommend it to others.
This restaurant is great! For the prices they charge, you'd think you were at a thai take-out place, but it's just the opposite. The inside is decorated very nicely and they even have a tiny outdoor area. Dinners are mostly about $7.95 and a glass of wine is only $5.50. My husband and I had an appetizer, 2 dinners, rice, and hot tea for only $30. So far the best things I've had are the chicken satay, ginger chicken, phad thai, and the curry. The kee mao was just ok. They use high quality meat and vegetables, which is another plus. The staff is always very friendly and the bathrooms have always been clean. As a side note, on 3 separate occasions my husband and I have been seated, eaten dinner, and left for a movie, all within 35 minutes! The movie theater and frozen yogurt shop near Bua Thai are great places to go afterwards.
The food is definitely good, the service could be better but really it isn't that bad. What I really like about this place is the quality of the meat. Most Thai places use grisly leftover parts, but Bua uses white meat which I love. It makes it hard to go back to my old favorite places like Mix Bowl. The food is tassty and they don't skimp on portions, but I hate paying extra for rice when at most other places it comes with the dish. My advice is to go at lunch and order the lunch specials, best bang for your buck. Also, it can be quite a wait at dinner time and if at all possible avoice sitting at the table ridiculously placed on the path to the bathrooms & their kitchen. It feels so industrial!
Bua Thai...should be called Blahh Thai. We have been Thai food conisours for over 20 years now, and when this restaurant opened in Claremont, I was excited. I took my family of four there for dinner. When we showed up at 7, there was a 30 minute wait. We were seated in 15 minutes and the first thing you notice is it is noisy, due to concrete floors. Ok, I can live with that. The server was polite and took our order. My wife opened the menu and ordered a glass of wine from the back page for $4.75, only to be told that these prices on the back page (of a brand new restaurant) were not current and she needed to order the same wine from the list on the table, which was $1.00 higher. Hmmm. We then ordered the glass of wine, Thai beer and 2 thai iced teas. Our food order was a mushroom dish, Yellow Curry, Large Tom Kah Kai (hot pot) and a beef salad. We got three small mushrooms for 7.95 (seemed a lot), the Hot pot was 1/2 full and barely enough for 4 people (we fought for the chicken inside the soup). The curry dish had no flavor, but the best was the Beef Salad. I am glad we ordered a large pot of white rice. For 4 people, the total was higher than the other Thai places in the area.
My recommendation is to go to The Lucky Elephant or Top Thai in San Dimas, as well as Thai Orchid Garden in Claremont. These are established Thai restaurants in the area where you get the most bang for your buck. Hopefully once Bua Tai is settled down, they can rise to the top like the others in the area. I