I looked down into the alleyway, and…whoa…there it was: Thai Purple, in all it’s glory.
Gonna have to remember that…I said to myself. If I’m ever in Alhambra, and want to get my grub on, I’d have to come back here and check this place out.
Well, it’s one hungry Monday afternoon, and I need to get my grub on.
Gotta say, it’s quiet, out of the way (that’s for sure). It’s got a little bar (six seats) and projection screen TVs showing the game of your (well, really their) choice. The day I’m here, the sun is beating down on the San Gabriel Valley like a hammer on an anvil. You can feel the heat from outside. Fortunately, Thai Purple has shaded the windows and turned the A.C. on high. It’s not refrigerated in here, but it’s cool enough. You’ll want to stay deep, deep inside when it’s hot out.
It’s sorta got this Sports bar vibe going on. They’ve got two TV’s on, playing last night’s Exhibition Action (it was still Preseason when I visited). And we’ve got two lovely waitstaff moving back and forth to and from the kitchen.
I sit down. Look over the Lunch Menu, and place a more than reasonably priced order. The food comes quickly. Smile from the Waitstaff, and…
Boy, do I miss Thai Town.
And it’s weird, I figured that because we’re in Alhambra, surrounded by so much Chinese-American and Taiwanese-American (and even some Korean and Japanese-American) goodness, the Thai food would at least hold it’s own.
What I’m having, I’m…I’ll…
Well, just wait till WHAT SHOULD I GET, and you’ll see.
I think part of it is the Lunch Menu. I’m going to close my eyes, finish this stuff up and…well, pretend that their Dinner menu is better.
Right now thought, that’s taking an awful lot of imagination.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Yeah, after weeks of eating in Thai Town, I was a bit disappointed.
Granted, I came here for lunch, and maybe things are better at dinner, but…damn.
In truth, things opened up all right. After ordering, I was served a small cup of soup. I’m not sure what it was made of entirely, but it tasted like Bitter Melon, and Cabbage. It was simple as all get out but tasty.
It was at this point, I started to feel very confident.
Okay, bring it on. Let’s see what you got Thai Purple.
And then, I’m brought a Bento Box of food. It is my Fried Tofu and Pork and Broccoli. The two largest sections are filled with either two scoops of White Rice, and a House Salad. The others…the Tofu and the Pork and Broccoli.
And before you ask…the Broccoli is just…well, it’s not Chinese Broccoli…it’s…just Broccoli.
Damn, I love Chinese Broccoli.
The Pork is…stewed? Boiled? It’s sitting, with the Broccoli in a…stock of some kind. So it’s all kind of a soupy mess. And so…you eat it, and…and…
Nah. It’s not working for me. It’s not bad tasting or anything, just a sense of…seriously…this all you got?
And the Fried Tofu was…well…
I’ve had this kind of Crispy Tofu before. It’s not the tastiest. It’s not exactly bursting with flavor. But without a dipping sauce or anything, it’s…well…something I need to remember not to order again in the future.
Overall, very disappointing.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Thai Purple sits in the middle of probably what used to be a parking lot, behind a row of restaurants like Izakaya Akatora. Then someone built the Garage on North First Street, permanently blocking it from view.
Needless to say, if you leave the Garage by Stair, you will see the restaurant. The best place to park is that Garage. It’s free, and there are usually plenty of places, but seeing this place from the street? Forget it. Not happening.
And yes. Ha Ha Ha. Thai Purple is also…at least according to all the Google hits I got, also a semi-well known strain of Weed. So yeah. I guess the joke’s really on me. Or maybe this explains sooo many things.
PARKING: While there are four five spaces directly in front of the restaurant, the best place is really to park inside the Garage that I just mentioned. It’s free, and there are usually plenty of spaces…so long as you are willing to drive to upper levels.
27 N. Garfield Ave.
Alhambra, CA 91801
Tel: (626) 300-9083
Sunday-Thursday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm