Award winning Chef Carl Marts is the man behind the success of Baan Thai Restaurant in San Jose del Cabo. Chef Marts can do justice to most types of cuisine (he was invited to show his stuff at the James Beard House in New York) but Thai food is what he loves and it definitely shows...um tastes that way.
Baan Thai is housed in a low-ceiling, century-old building in the art district. There is a small bar; an inside split dining room with air conditioning, a show kitchen and a secluded tropical-like patio in the back.
For appetizers you might want to try Seafood Dumplings ($7.50), crab, shrimp & fish filled dumplings, served with a mustard soy dipping sauce or Vietnamese Summer Roll, spicy chicken with fresh herbs and vegetables wrapped in rice paper. Craving a little hot stuff, then you might want to try Tom Kha Gai Soup ($5.50), spicy chicken in coconut milk with mushrooms and lemon grass. When you graze (or gaze) down the menu into the entrees it all starts to get scrumptious. We had the Thai Coconut Chicken ($13), chicken simmered in a spicy, green coconut curry and the Braised Lamb Shank in a coconut, green curry broth, with cilantro and lemon grass.
Carl’s wine list is getting better all the time and this version is peppered with Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Merlot and Shiraz. All of these wines make for incredible wine pairings with the Thai cuisine. A good cold beer works as well when things get hot. We had the 2005, Willamette Valley, Oregon, Duck Pond Pinot Gris ($45) with our entrees and it was perfect! You can also order some of the vintages by the glass if you’re not into a bottle.
The music is laid-back-groovy and the service is invisibly good. By that I mean there is no ‘hovering’, the wait staff is there when you need them and not before. Most of the menu can be prepared vegetarian and if your looking for a great place to take a group of people Baan Thai is it.
On Morelos at Comonfort, downtown San Jose del Cabo. Open Monday thru Saturday from noon until 10:30 p.m. Visa and MasterCard accepted. Appetizers from $5 U.S. with entrées from $8 to $21 U.S.. Air conditioned, Street parking. Seating for 36 in dining room and 36 on patio. Groups encouraged. For reservations call (624) 142-3344.Bradley Fraser.