Restaurant Review #81: Toi, Santa Monica

Toi is unusual in that while it is a Thai restaurant, it is decorated in rock and roll memorabilia. It is also open from 11 am to 3 am daily. Yes, you read that right. Perhaps the long hours explain the empty tables. Or perhaps it's the food.

Toi has two locations, and I've only been to the Wilshire location in Santa Monica (the other is on Sunset). Both times I was underwhelmed by, if not downright unhappy with, their food. I went with a different group of friends each time, and other people seemed to like their food, but then, they're not as picky as I.

On my first visit, I ordered pad Thai. I'm such a sucker, I know. It's hard to mess up pad Thai, unless you're using the red box from the grocery store, but Toi managed to do it. On my second visit, I ordered the crispy duck. It wasn't well-described on the menu, and perhaps it's my fault for not asking for more detail, but I definitely wasn't expecting a plate of fried duck pieces still on the bone. My vegetarian inclinations don't like eating meat off the bone, but even pushing that detail aside, the meat was overcooked and it took a lot of work to even find the meat. There weren't any vegetables on the plate, and I didn't order rice (extra charge, sigh) so after a lot of work picking around bones for meat, I was still hungry, and I'd ordered the most expensive dish of the group. I went home and ate a salad and cookies for my real dinner.

Based on my two experiences and the reviews elsewhere on the web, I'd recommended avoiding Toi unless it's late at night and you're looking for an alternative to the usual diner food.

1120 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 394-7804

1 comment:

Dylan McDonald said...

I've eaten at the Sunset location, and I didn't think it was all that bad. However, it was my first experience with Thai cuisine, so that may be colouring my opinion. I have had Thai since, but don't remember Toi enough to compare (and the unmemorableness might mean something too).