After aimlessly walking around the Whole Earth Festival and observing its diverse and largely animal-friendly food options, I came to the realization that I definitely did not want an herbal milkshake and Naan for lunch. This said, I opted to make the half-mile journey to Davis‘ newest Thai restaurant, KetMoRee, to dine at a place where the smell of the compost exhibit could not interfere with my appetite.
KetMoRee is nestled on the corner of G and Third Streets and its sophisticated and elegant exterior is only a preview of the aesthetic appeal offered inside. High ceilings, deep red color schemes and dark wood furniture all contributed to the sense of elegance my company and I felt as we were seated at our table, a feeling that sharply contrasted with the backpack, flip-flops and Pizza My Heart shirt I ignorantly wore.
The front of the restaurant is a panel of windows that allows for idyllic lighting during the day and a wide view of the street and its night life after dark. Instrumental, lyric-less music played softly in the background, further enhancing the vibe.
Upon being seated, our drink order was immediately taken by a diligent waitress and we were given our menus.
Appetizer options ranged from Chili Crusted Calamari to the more traditional Chicken Pot Sticker. Salads were anything from a simple Cucumber Salad to Yum Nua – a mix of sliced grilled beef tenderloin, red and green onion, cilantro and mild lime dressing.
A friend and I decided to share the Mango Salad to start, which proved to be a wise decision when we saw the size of the dish we were served after a short wait. The salad was an elaborate blend of lettuce, thin zesty slices of mango, green onion, red onion, cilantro, coconut flakes and cashews. The mango and other trimmings combined for a sweet and spicy sensation that we both appreciated.
The salad was priced at $9, a cost I thought reasonable considering it could have easily been shared three ways.
As a main course, we ordered the Pad Thai to share and the wait between our salad and entrée was reasonable. In the meantime, our water glasses were constantly refilled by attentive staff and we watched baseball on the two large flat-screen televisions mounted above the bar.
Our Pad Thai was finally served, and for those of you Thai food virgins (doubtful there are very many of you, this is Davis after all) Pad Thai consists of thin rice noodles, tofu, egg, bean sprout, green onion and your choice of meat if desired.
The dish was well-portioned for two people, not too excessive and definitely met my culinary expectations. I cannot boast to be a credentialed food critic by any means, but we both agreed it was delicious and the proportion of chicken, tofu and noodles was just right.
The Pad Thai came to $11, and overall the whole meal came to $21.75 between the two of us. Not too shabby considering we were able to box up the leftovers for later.
Based on the opinions of other KetMoRee customers, other dishes like the Spicy Pork Ribs and Spicy Lamb are also exceptional. Some may find parts of the menu pricey, but one must take into mind that the cost is not only covering the food, but also the ambience and good service.
While KetMoRee serves as a food destination by day and early evening, it also functions as a nightclub after 10:30 p.m. The establishment boasts a large dance floor and a loaded bar.
Overall, I’d say the restaurant is a great place to impress a date or those friends from out of town that think Davis is just one giant farm.
AMANDA HARDWICK can be reached email@example.com.