By Daniel Paris
Peppers Thai is one of the original Thai restaurants to open in the Coachella Valley. For twenty years, they have been serving genuine Thai food at their Palm Springs location.
I recall dining in my first Thai restaurant over thirty years ago. I thought, “Wow, this food tastes so fresh and has the spice level I crave. The flavors are so deep and balanced.” All of a sudden, Chinese food seemed so bland with its sweet and salty combinations.
Thai curries taste very bright with the use of citrus elements like lemongrass, kaffir lime, and galangal all bathed in a creamy coconut broth. Unlike Indian curries in which vegetables are cooked to a mushy consistency, Thais prepare veggies with great crisp texture and bright colors enhanced by herbal notes of basil and heat provided by small, potent Thai chilies.
Peppers have the usual Thai greatest hits like Pad Thai and Yellow Curry, but they really shine with their veggie entrees. Most stir-fried Thai veggie dishes use liberal amounts of garlic, Thai roasted chili sauce, soy, and oyster sauce for sweetness and lots of sharp-flavored Thai basil. I especially like their eggplant dishes with their use of tender Japanese eggplant or long green eggplant.
Another unique fresh Thai dish is green papaya salad. Green (unripe) papaya is coarsely grated and pounded in a large mortar and pestle to release its juices and is dressed with brown sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and vegetable oil. If you like coleslaw, you will love this tart lively salad.
Work your way through the menu and feel good about your new healthy diet. Thai cuisine is a natural antidote to our lengthy triple-digit summers with the fresh rice paper rolls and refreshing Thai ice tea.
Peppers Thai (Palm Springs)
396 N. Palm Springs
Tuesday – Sunday 11:30 a.m. – 9:15 p.m.
Peppers Thai (Palm Desert)
72286 Hwy. 111, Suite J5
Wednesday – Sunday 4:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.