We had a very nice dinner at Blue Elephant in Lake Mary. Based on my first visit, I will definitely go back again. Blue Elephant has only been open a few months, but is first of all a beautiful restaurant. They did a good job remodeling this space that was formerly a Carlos N Charlies. But it's not all good looks--the food was really good as well and the service really attentive. I can't wait to go back!
We arrived on a Friday evening around 8 or so and were promptly greeted and given our choice of seating. They were not packed, but seemed to have a steady business. We started out with some wine while we studied the menu.
We elected to begin with an appetizer, the Blue Elephant Dumplings. Let me warn you: there are quite a few items on the appetizer that look really good. I can't wait to try some others. The dumplings or pot-stickers were chicken served with a soy viniagrette sauce and a bit of red cabbage/carrot slaw. They were excellent. They had a nice asian flavor, probably from napa cabbage. The soy viniagrette was one of the best potsticker sauces I've had, perhaps because it was not overly salty, but rather light and flavorful. This was an excellent start to our meal.
I elected to have the Tom Yum Koong soup to start my meal. I was asked how spicy I wanted it and I said "regular spicy" or medium. It was very good. I'd say there was less lemongrass than I've normally had, but the broth was a bit darker, most likely due to tomato which added a nice umami taste to it. Several large shrimp were in it as well as the normal "mystery" ingredients. It was excellent and I'd definitely order it again.
For my main course, I had the Fried Brown Rice Cashew Nut, and it was absolutely wonderful! First, the brown rice gave it a wonderful nutty flavor. then add some cashews for even more nuttty flavor. The add in a bit of pineapple for some sweet contrast. Then some egg, carrot, onion, and broccoli--and some chicken to boot. Talk about a flavor festival going on in my mouth! This was excellent and I ate every bit that was on my plate. And yes, I did add a bit of the lemon, it gave it just the right zing!
Tommy ordered the Blue Elephant Fried Rice which was equally excellent, a combination of chicken, beef and shrimp with green onion, peas, onion, carrot pepper, tomato, and egg. Wow, what a lot of flavor on that plate. I had a taste and I have to agree with him--it was very, very good.
We had a great dining experience here with good food, a reasonable price for the wonderful atmosphere, and great service. I hope to make it here for lunch soon and try some of their lunch specials. But I know we'll be back again for more of their good food. As for whether or not it is genuine Thai food, I have no idea. But that, to me, is of no consequence, because the food was genuinely very good. I'll be back, I'm sure!