By Kim Van Hoven
Cover and feature photos by Imeh Akpanudosen
In Thai, the word Gindi means “to eat well.” It implies that one is happy not only while eating, but also afterwards. That attitude has been the recipe of success for this Burbank/Toluca Lake neighborhood restaurant on the corner of Pass and Riverside.
For nearly five years, Gindi Thai has been serving healthy and tasty Bangkok style lunches and dinners, made per order from fresh and natural, unprocessed local ingredients and spices from Thailand. Their correct portion sizes and wide dimensions of flavors and aromas appeal to a refined Thai taste through a balanced mix of spicy (but not too spicy) and sweet.
Owner Eric Sansangasakun understands the value of healthy, fresh food and works with his staff to imbue each meal they serve with enjoyment and deliciousness. “The quality of our ingredients is key. We focus on flavor. And we train a lot, so that our chefs match consistency.”
White, beige and green colors combine with soft fabrics to create a relaxing and refreshing décor which is equally suitable for business lunches, family meals, dinner dates or birthday parties.
Gindi Thai also sports a sushi bar for lunch and dinner, staffed by two dedicated sushi chefs. By integrating the flavors of Thai and Japanese cuisine, they are able to expand and get a little bit creative. The spicy tuna, shrimp and crab rolls are customer favorites. Eric points out that they also use sushi-grade fish in all the fish dishes on their regular menu.
Gindi Thai offers a simplified lunch menu option which comes with rice, salad and spring roll. The most popular lunch dish is the Tangy Thai Cashews with Tamarind Sauce, which has a sweet tart fig and plum flavor.
Another lunch favorite is the Kang Kiew Wane which combines tender, melt-in-your-mouth eggplant and green curry.
Some items from the dinner menu such as the Pad Thai and Pad See-U are prepared in a very authentic manner.
While the mango and shrimp salad departs from the original version by including avocado for a rich and creamy addition to this spicy, slightly salty, tart and yet sweet mix.
Feeling like exploring some different curries? The Curry a Trois is a three-cup dish which features chicken in yellow curry, tofu in red curry and beef in green curry.
Eric recommends the steamed ginger sea bass marinated in ponzu sauce and sake with black mushrooms and vegetables.
Also worth mentioning are the Som Tom Gindi (papaya salad with shrimp), and the Sweet Sassy Sole, fried with crispy basil and spicy sour sauce.
The full drink bar hosts happy hour food and drink specials everyday from 5 – 7 p.m. and specializes in exotic cocktails such as their Lychee Martini, Mango and Cilantro Mojito, Ling Ba (aka Mad Monkey- a creamy mixture of Baileys, Kahlua and Crème de Banana) and lots of premium spirits.
There is ample meter-free street parking on the streets around Gindi Thai, and valet parking is available for $3.50.
Gindi Thai is growing! Eric and his team will soon be opening a sister location in the Universal City area. The Summer Canteen will be open by the end of the month and will be a less formal, fun atmosphere serving a colorful mix of flavors from Burma, Malaysia and Vietnam.
You can make reservations on their website at www.gindithai.com or call (818) 567-1221 to order pickup or delivery service and enjoy Gindi Thai at your home or office.
Gindi Thai is located at 4017 Riverside Dr., Burbank, CA 91505, at the corner of Pass and Riverside. They can be reached at 818-567-1221 or on the Web at www.gindithai.com. Their lunch hours are 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (except Sundays), and dinner is served 5 – 10 p.m.