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After leaving California and coming to the Charleston area, I wandered aimlessly for years learning from my miserable experiences where not to go. Every once in awhile, hitting the jackpot in the foodie experience, I would find something to tell my friends about. My hope is to save you the wandering and guide you to the mouth watering areas of Charleston.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Basil

A friend of mine kept telling me I had to make it to Basil on King Street for the best Thai food ever. I finally succumbed, grabbed the family, and headed downtown. I did not make a reservation since they operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. I was hungry and didn’t want to find the nearest parking garage, so I paid a hefty $7 for on street parking. I suggest using a garage since you would pay less by the hour. The restaurant looks like it’s located in what used to be an old diner, which made it look fun and quirky. However, the d├ęcor was up to date and stylish. At 6 p.m. the place was quite busy already, but we were seated as soon as we came in.

I brought two kids with me and was somewhat worried that they did not offer a children’s menu. However, the waitress pointed out that the appetizers or a shared meal would be appropriate for the kids. My kids chose to split the Beef Fried Rice ($12.95), which comes with onions, scallions, carrots, and green peas. I went with the popular Basil ($15.50), which comes with your choice of beef, chicken, tofu, or shrimp (add $2 for shrimp). I chose the beef and my husband the shrimp. The meal also comes with hot jasmine rice.

The beef Basil was absolutely scrumptious. The perfect amount of spice and the veggie to meat ratio was right on. The jasmine rice was cooked perfect. I can’t get over how yummy the sauce was. I definitely could have sipped a bowl of this sauce all on its own. My husband liked the shrimp option, but said he actually preferred the taste of the beef version of Basil better. The split dish of Beef Fried Rice was just the right amount for two hungry kids and they gobbled up and said they wanted to come back again for more.

My only complaints were that it was loud and tightly packed. Trying to navigate to the bathroom requires some maneuvering. I wouldn’t recommend this for a first date, unless you really don’t care to converse too much then this would be ideal. I think it would make a great Girls Night Out because it is a laid-back atmosphere. Next time I go, I’m going with Aimee’s suggestion of Three-Flavored Fish (Market) or the Signature Crispy Red Curry Duck ($23.95).

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