After a long search for a restaurant that would suit our needs for the evening we decided upon The Buddha Café located at 2719 Iris Avenue in Boulder.
The restaurant is located on the first floor of a two floor ‘U’ shaped strip mall style building complex dotted with other restaurants, an Indian grocery store, a tattoo shop and many others. Their space is snug but adequate and generally appropriate for their moderately priced entrees and appetizers.
I ordered a Thai Iced Tea for starters, but the rest of the family settled for the non-iced water they were serving. After conversing with the waiter we discovered that even though some of the dishes noted they contained fish sauce, others ALSO contained fish but weren’t listed as such.
The Massamon Curry with tofu was reportedly vegan and the Pad Thai could be done vegetarian so those were the ones we ordered. We also decided to try out the spring roll appetizers (which come in an order of 4 for $5.95) because we were quite hungry.
I received my Thai Iced Tea after a short wait. It was OK. Not the best or strongest I’ve ever had, but tolerable and tasty.
After a lengthy wait we finally received our spring roll appetizers. One bite and I realized they were not done all the way. They were cool in the middle. Not frozen, but not hot like we were expecting or anticipating. Upon noting this to the waiter he left the appetizer on the table and took the time to go check with the cook about the problem. Wow! In my experience when a dish has a problem or is noted as not being warm or well-cooked the dish is whisked away and the problem handled immediately. The waiter came back and reported that the cook noted that the spring rolls don’t need to be ‘cooked’ because the ingredients are precooked.
I re-explained to him that they were NOT HOT in the middle and he finally took them to be recooked or whatever.
By this time our food orders arrived. The Massamon Curry that I ordered was spiced medium, very tasty and would become the saving grace of the evening. However the Pad Thai that my wife ordered was less than exciting. We have had Pad Thai numerous times before and this was certainly sub par. It had a distinct tomato pasty taste and that’s about all the flavor the dish had. We weren’t sure if this was the result of it being ordered vegetarian or what.
She tasted my Massamon Curry and decided mine was way better than hers so we switched. After a few bites of the Pad Thai I simply stopped eating and was done with the meal. I would have requested some Saracha sauce, but the waiter didn’t return to our table in a reasonable time frame and I wasn’t able to get his attention before I gave up.
Somewhere not terribly long after we got our food, the spring rolls arrived again. This time they were hot and much better than the first round, but even then, their dipping sauce was pretty uninspired.
Since the pacing of the meal was off we ended up with leftovers, which for some reason we decided to take with us. The waiter produced two foam to-go containers that we packed our uneaten grub in.
We really WANTED to like the food and have an enjoyable evening, but as it turned out we had a very spotty meal and left with a resignation to not return.