Within stretching distance from the long summer line at Handel´s Ice Cream & Yogurt and tossing distance from that Blockbuster on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Prospect that´s been officially turned upside down by the economy sits a new Thai restaurant. What used to house a business formally known as Pasta Kitchen now boasts a new style of cuisine rightfully named Yum Thai Bistro. Thai food in the South Bay traditionally revolves around local neighborhood places that rely on a mix of foot traffic, takeout and delivery. Think Thai Top in Hermosa and the ubiquitous Thai Dishes. High priced, sit down Thai restaurants like Chaba Bay Thai Grill in Redondo Beach feel a bit off center and wrongly casted for the role of a "go to" Thai spot.
Yum Thai Bistro matches the blueprint for a "go to" Thai spot in the South Bay, but they are doing something that most Thai restaurants get wrong, happy hour. Daily (5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) happy hour at Yum Thai is a good starter that minds the wallet and palate with $2 Stella Artois, Singha, Tsingtao, and Bud Light bottles. Glasses of wine for $3 are also available. Items for $4 like Chicken Satay, Curry Fries, and Fried Wontons keep it simple and affordable.
Although the name Yum Thai is grammatically incongruent and sounds strange when placed in a complete sentence, the food is yummy. The name Bistro implies small portions so think about ordering two dinner entrees for one hungry person. The ambiance inside feels more like a dark pub with coffee tones and the Pad Thai is made in the traditional style with all the veggies, crushed peanuts and lime served on the side for personal customization. The Spicy Drunken Noodles with beef and Panang Curry with any protein are both winners and pair up well with a Som Tum salad (green papaya salad).
Lunch Specials cost $7.25 and are served between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Make sure to save room for some of the best ice cream in the South Bay after dinner (or lunch) at Handel´s. It’s practically next door to Yum Thai, just look for the line of teenagers. Yum Thai offers free delivery within a 3-mile radius if food purchase is more than $15.
Yum Thai is located at 1888 ½ S. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach and their phone number is (310) 316-1188.