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Mint Leaf Thai Cuisine

712 E Balboa Blvd
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  • Mint Leaf Thai Cuisine

    The best Thai food! You can ride the bikes or walk to this place. Make sure to order your food 'MILD"; as the chefs prepare everything on the Hot side. You can add more chili sauce if you need it. You can also order to go; they even deliver to the house!

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  • Mint Leaf Thai CuisinePro 2014
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    Foodies
    + 2
    • Green Travelers
    • Art & Design Lovers

    There are very few Thai places in the area that I'd absolutely rave about and this place might be one of them. First of all, no corkage fee. AWESOME. Secondly, fellow foodie friend, Drew M. has been talking non-stop about Mint Leaf Thai since he discovered it on the Balboa peninsula last year. He loves that they will make dishes "legitimately" spicy for him. Both of us detest places that say they will make it spicy but hold back because they think the customer can't handle the spice. If we are asking for an 11 on a scale of 1 to 5, give us an 11!! Anyway, I finally made it down to Mint Leaf with Drew M., Mike M., and Lindsay M., feeling a little left out because my last initial isn't M but we had a great meal.

    We ordered:

    Appetizer Sampler: ($10.95) Combination of lady fingers, veggie crispy rolls, fried wontons, and cheese puffs. Typical fried fare. This was just ok.

    Pumpkin Curry with chicken spice level requested was 6 but it came out a 4: ($10.95) Red coconut curry made with tender pieces of pumpkin, tomato, basil, and bell peppers. The curry was barely spicy but the flavors were so delicious I kept coming back for more. The pumpkin was perfectly cooked with a creamy bite to it and the coconut gave it a very rich satisfying flavor. Delicious!

    Larb with pork spice level requested 6 but came out a 5: ($8.95) Seasoned minced meat with basil, onions, roasted Thai chili and tossed in a lime dressing. There's so much flavor in the dish that I absolutely loved it. It's served with lettuce leaves and you can essentially make a lettuce wrap with it. The balance of spice and citrus is spot on. So good!

    Mint Leaf Thai Noodles spice level requested 6 and it came out a 6: ($10.95) Stir-fried egg noodles with chicken, shrimp, cashews, onions, carrots, celery, and dry Thai chili tossed in the house sauce. This was by far the spiciest dish we had at the table and it was just what I wanted in a noodle dish. I love noodles.

    Lindsay who loves very mild dishes ordered the Mongolian beef ($9.95) which was really tasty. We also had a large serving of white rice ($3.00) but they do happen to serve brown rice or sticky rice if you prefer it. For the four of us it ended up being less than $20 per person with tip included. Not bad at all for Newport but pricier than other Thai places I've been to.

    I have to say though that they do take their time. Service is not their forte but the fact that there is no corkage fee helps out a lot. Bring your own bottle of wine and they will provide wine glasses and a cork for you. That's pretty cool if you're not in a hurry to eat. Otherwise pick out your entrees if there's a wait and immediately order food once seated.

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  • Mint Leaf Thai Cuisine

    This place is a find. A few notes about this restaurant:

    Pros:

    - No corkage fee! Enough said.

    - Complex and legitimately spicy dishes (if you want them). I let our server know that we wanted our dishes fire hot, and she listened- they were hot while still retaining their complex flavor. Big plus when I ask for it spicy and they actually listen.

    - Small, chic, and intimate interior. You'll be right on top of your neighbors, but I'm cool with that.

    - The price point for Newport is extremely reasonable, and the portions are what you would expect.

    Cons:

    - Service was splotchy. We had a mistake on our order, and definitely could have used more water a few times during our meal. I feel as though we got a "hole in the wall" level of service, with a classier atmosphere. Some room for growth here.

    What we ordered:

    Prik King: http://www.yelp.com/biz_…

    We had this with chicken, served over a spicy red curry with green beans. The red curry was indeed spicy, and the green beans were crunchy and perfectly cooked. (4 Stars)

    Pumpkin Curry: http://www.yelp.com/biz_…

    This was perfect in my eyes. The pumpkin was soft, and the flavor was complex and eclectic, as thai food should be. There was coconut milk, pumpkin, lemongrass, and thai chili all up in there, and it will definitely be ordered again. (5 Stars).

    Very stoked to have this place so close, and in my mind, a legitimate choice for Thai food in Orange County!

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  • Mint Leaf Thai Cuisine
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 2
    • Business Travelers
    • Foodies
    First to Review

    My friend told me to give this place a try since it has pretty good Thai food, so I decided to try. You would think a place like this in Newport would be very Americanized, but it's actually not. Whenever I crave for authentic Thai food, I usually go to Thai Nakorn; however, since this one is closer, I wanna to give it a try.

    We ordered 3 dishes for 2, which in my book is just the perfect amount. I know some might say it's a little too many, but hey, I'm Asian, so the more the merrier! Anyways, the dishes we ordered were:

    1. Nam Sod - 4.5 stars. With the lime juice and ginger the salad was refreshing on a hot summer day. I only wish it was a little bite spicier given the fact that we ordered spicy. The peanuts on the salad gave it perfect crunch that complements well with the ground chicken. I would order this salad any day!

    2. Garlic Chicken Wings - 4.5 stars. The wings are perfectly fried! The sauce that glazed the chicken were sticky and had garlic crumbles on it. I think it can be a little more garlicky, but some people it might be just perfect! I LOVE garlic so I want to eat it until I can scare the vampire away!

    3. Prik King - 4 stars. Right of the top of my head....well... this dish needs to be A LOT spicier. I want spicy, but got no spicy. The sauce was great thought. And, the green beans were cooked perfectly. You know how when you under cook the green beans, it squeaks when you chew, but when it's over cooked, it's just mushy. My point? The green beans were good and goes perfect with the beef.

    Bottom line~ if I'm at Balboa Park: Newport area, I would definitely come here again~

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OverviewEdit

4.5 out of 5
4 members' reviews
4 people visited Mint Leaf Thai Cuisine
  • Price

    Moderate
  • Cuisine:

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