Thai cuisine arrives at DB

In Diamond Bar, a city filled with restaurants offering a variety of  Asian cuisines, it can be hard for new businesses to make their mark. However, after visiting Basil & Co., it is evident that the new establishment will be able to make a name for itself as one of the best Thai restaurants in the area, with their stellar service and quality dishes.

The style of the small restaurant is modern, with a casual atmosphere. Each table has a centerpiece featuring several live flowers but there is still plenty of room for dishes.

Although my family visited during the soft opening, the variety of available dishes was wide—there were even several off-menu items the server informed us of such as the tom kha and chicken satay.

To start, we ordered drinks, a plate of egg rolls ($4) and another of veggie rolls ($4), each of which came with two rolls. The egg rolls, filled with pork, shrimp and a variety of vegetables, were served piping hot with a dish of pleasantly sweet fish sauce. I found the rolls to be better with the sauce, though still enjoyable without due to the variety of flavors and textures within the filling. The vegetable egg rolls came with a sweet and sour chili sauce, which complemented the mellow flavor of the greens excellently.

The drink I ordered was a Thai tea ($3), which was not too overpowering in terms of sweetness, nor was it oversteeped. In fact, I found that it actually lacked slightly in tea flavor, especially as the ice began to melt.

We then ordered a plate of chicken satay ($9), one of grilled pork ($12), the house fried rice with shrimp ($13) and a dish of chicken pad thai ($13), all of which were shared. Of the four, the chicken pad thai was my favorite. The nutty and sweet flavors in the pad thai played nicely together with the soft crunch of peanuts and large-cut scallions, providing a variety of textures to keep every bite different from the next. The chicken in the pad thai was also well-cooked, juicy and flavorful.

The chicken satay was a close second in both texture and flavor. Rather than dry and overcooked, as grilled chicken often is, it was juicy and tender with a pleasant amount of seasoning. It was accompanied by a modest amount of warm peanut sauce that paired well with the curry-like flavor of the chicken. The dish also included crispy cucumbers that were lightly pickled in a light vinegar and red onion.

Our other two dishes—the house fried rice and grilled pork—were also delicious, but the grilled pork, although juicy, was too chewy for my tastes.

The only caveat to the dishes was that each of them had some aspect of sweetness to it, which made the meal slightly bland, though this may be remedied by ordering different dishes or spicier foods (we had asked the server to request less spicy food for us).

Our meal total came out to $20 per person including tip, but we had plenty of leftovers. With all aspects of my experience considered, I would highly recommend visiting Basil & Co., whose dishes have become my new addiction.