On our holiday excursion, we drove up to Reno taking the 14 to 395 through Owens Valley. Now, normally, we’d stop at a multitude of places but as it was freezing, Christmas holiday weekend and we happen to be in the middle of a pandemic, we didn’t. But we also didn’t pack food, so... It being lunch time, and because I didn’t eat anything before we left, I was getting pretty “hangry.” After a few hours of my intermittent complaining, my husband Jeff says, “Find someplace you wanna eat at and we’ll stop.”
“Well, what the heck, Jeff, I don’t know where the heck we are!” I not-so-pleasantly replied (I may not have said “heck”). After a few minutes of grumbling and watching exits pass by while searching on my phone for gluten free near whatever exit is five miles away, I see Jasmine Thai Restaurant pop up in my search. It’s in “AV?” Again, what the heck?! After reading reviews and finding the address, I discover it’s in Antelope Valley, on Palmdale Boulevard, which happens to be the next exit. It’s near the freeway and the menu looks good, with gluten free and vegan options (for my vegan husband). We pull into the lot behind the strip mall it’s in, park and stare at dumpsters and a litter-filled vacant lot surrounded by chain link fencing. Well, here goes, I call in our order. Woonsen soup (no fried garlic) with ground chicken for me and veggie tempura for him with a side of rice.
We enter though the back, and are pleasantly surprised to find a large restaurant that smells of deliciousness: garlic, onions, curry, galangal, seafood... so good! I start reading about the restaurant from a clipping on the wall that their local paper wrote about them. It’s owned and operated by husband and wife, Ruethaithip (Gail ) and Jim Lloyd. She’s the chef, having attended Thai International Food Academy, and is usually found in the kitchen. He’s the manager.
So far, so good. We get our food and head back to the car to eat and enjoy the view.
Jeff’s tempura is amazing; it’s enough for three people, with bite-sized pieces of hot fried veggies, not greasy or soggy. The batter is red, light and puffy, not sure if it’s traditional (rice flour) or not, too cold to get out and ask, so I didn’t, just took a chance... It was great! Green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes. Super crunchy on the outside, warm, tasty veggies inside. Jeff made yummy noises.
On to my soup—I was impressed by the number of veggies cut nicely into tidy bite-sized pieces—not all big, chunky and hard to eat. Delicious carrots, cabbage, little mushrooms, baby corn and tons of glass noddles. The ground chicken was very flavorful and arranged in loose meatballs. The perfect lunch for a cold windy day. We will certainly eat there again on our next drive through Palmdale!
Jasmine Thai Restaurant 326 East Palmdale Blvd. Palmdale, 93550, thejasminethairestaurant.com.