I am not complaining, but....why are there no kick-ass Thai restaurants here? Every single ingredient that goes into a Thai dish (ok, lemon grass is not here) can be found in the market in La Crucecita. We have wonderful chefs in town, and Japanese food is well covered here. There is even a sushi bar, and many restaurants have Japanese dishes on their menus. There is a TV show: “Asialatina”, a truly amazing cooking show, taught by a Japanese chef, in Spanish, teaching us how to use what we have here to make these great Japanese dishes in our homes. I am encouraged. And when I asked local friends what food they liked best outside of homegrown, it was chinese food, if they had the opportunity to try “foreign” food. Imagine when they discover Thai food.
There is one sorta Chinese restaurant in Santa Cruz. Run by a lovely woman, from Russia, who fled her way to freedom, (that whole Russian revolution thing) through Shanghai before WWII, on to wherever, and now runs the Chinese restaurant. I only heard this story 3rd hand, but I live to have a sit down with her and hear that story. My sorry ass would appreciate her more, if I hadn’t just come back from a trip to South East Asia, through Hong Kong (lovely trip), and had Chinese food there. But, in an emergency, she's here, at least for the season, to help us out.
What we noticed up in Oaxaca City (absolutely one of the marvels of Mexico), were a few, high-end fusion restaurants: Japanese/Mexican; Thai/Mexican; and SE Asian/Mexican. So they know. Oaxaca has attracted the young-blood chefs, mostly out of cooking schools in Mexico City, Guadalajara, as well as Montreal, Switzerland, Asia. They are taking huge risks with some innovative dishes in this notorious foody region, and blending what is unique about traditional Oaxacan food with a touch of Asian fusion. We love going to Oaxaca.
So here’s the pitch. If you happen to run into anyone talking retirement, who has owned a Thai restaurant, and wants a little hobby, here is the perfect place. They can train a few locals, and guarantee someone knows how to run a Thai Restaurant for future generations. The weather is mostly good, except for May, and no one’s here from May until November anyway, so you get extended vacations. Now all we will have to do is find a nice white wine from Chile or Argentina (our main supply for wine, cheap, not bad), which is really not their thing, at least by the innumerable tests we have done, innumerable. Of course, I have resorted to cooking my own, and Larry is getting quite good at several dishes. So we continue to thrive, against all odds.