Farmers market Thai

Thai Farm House BBQ & Bistro

Thai Farm House’s kao soi and spicy chicken wings.

Thai Farm House’s kao soi and spicy chicken wings.

photo by scott duncan

Good for: vegetarian and produce-forward Thai food
Notable dishes: Spicy chicken wings, avocado curry, Kao Soi

Thai Farm House BBQ & Bistro

1049 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95818
Ste 40

(916) 382-9448

Sacramento has so many worthy Thai restaurants that it’s hard to get excited about a new one. Except when it’s sourced with produce from the freeway farmers market, filled with most thinkable entrees—noodles, soups, BBQ, curries, salads, stir-fries—in forms both tried-and-true and innovative, and cute as a carrot.

Opened in August, Thai Farm House BBQ & Bistro is a slice of coziness on the verge of Land Park and the grid. During November, it was decked out with hay bales and seasonal gourds. It softly glowed with strung lights, and a bitty succulent sprouted from each table.

Owner Ice Promeska brings 15 years of restaurant experience from Thailand and the states. Her menu showcases this breadth of learning with lesser known or fusion dishes like Pad Preaw Whan (pineapples, onions, carrots and cucumber with sweet-and-sour sauce) and Thai cobb salad. Setting itself apart from other Thai restaurants, the menu helpfully notes gluten-free and vegetarian options.

Not every dish is a hit, but many are.

The spicy chicken wings ($6.95) are elevated stoner grub: dank in a primal way, with a truly crispy outside shellacked in housemade sweet-and-sour sauce that’s not too sweet or too thick. Its subtlety allows for the chili spice and basil flavors to permeate the meat.

Also a success? The avocado curry ($10.95). If soft were a flavor, it would taste like this: liquid avocado mixed with warm, creamy, sweet coconut milk. Chunks of avocado heightened the flavor, and the bell peppers and carrots added notes of crispness and acid.

The Kao Soi ($8.95-$11.95) was a welcome study in contrasts, with fine egg noodles squiggling through a curry that’s fatty, sour, sweet and spicy. Fermented vegetables punched up that sour profile in surprising bursts. On top, fried noodles echoed with a crispy crunch.

I was let down, though, by the Ba Mee Keaw ($8.95). The broth was simply too bland, missing some oomph in the form of salt or personality. The ingredients floating in the soup redeemed it slightly: The wontons contained a hearty melding of chicken and shrimp encased in an egg noodle—three different forms of umami in one bite. The bok choi tasted fresh and delightfully bitter. The BBQ pork seemed honeyed with sweetness.

Worth noting: The restaurant has a caddy of chili sauce and other add-ons, so the boring broth is easily remedied.

The Grapow Moogrob ($9.95), though, was also lacking. I was excited to try the pork belly specialty, imagining soft cuts of meat rimmed with crispy skin. But the meat wasn’t that soft or deliciously fatty. In fact, it was a bit gamey. Hard to fix that with sauce.

Still, in a city overflowing with destination-worthy Thai restaurants, the Farm House is deserving of a visit, especially for vegetarians or gluten-conscious eaters. When you hit on the right dish, you might find yourself sticking to what’s safe and coming back again and again.