Opal Thai Food


66-197C Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712

Saturday night we had 4 hours of freedom while the kids were at “kids night” at Taekwondo.  We decided to eat out with another couple at Opal Thai food in Haleiwa.   Opal used to be a food truck with all the others in the horseshoe but they recently ditched the truck in favor of a larger kitchen and the comfort of a dining room. 

This restaurant is owned by a man name Opel who comes to each and every table.  His son, 10, brings water and sometimes food.  He’s very cute and likes to horse around and interact with the guests.  Opel came to our table and we started to order when he asked if we had ever eaten Thai before.  When we said we hadn’t he asked us a bunch of questions.  Do you like basil?  Do you like spicy?  etc.  We answered his questions and he just said, “I’ve got it I’ll make you something.  So we waited to see what would appear.  I found this really neat, a kind of personal experience only found at the rare small establishment.  I think we knew then we were in for a new adventure in food. 

The first thing to appear was the one thing we did manage to order before he took over.  That was summer rolls with peanut sauce.  These were amazing.  They didn’t taste like anything, they were more of something to put the wonderful peanut sauce on.  They consisted of carrots, green onions and some kind of noodle wrapped in a white sushi wrap. 

The second thing that appeared was a salad which was tofu and a bunch of spices and vegetables that was mixed together and then rolled in a lettuce leaf.  We later found out it’s called “Larb”.  It was spicy and had us all reaching for the water but we all liked it.  John and I later had seconds minus the lettuce leaf. 

Next came spicy glazed chicken wings.  They were glazed with honey over a bed of fried basil.  It was the perfect thing to cool that pallet after the spicy salad.  I can’t say these were really anything outstanding.  We liked them but we have also had similar food at other places. 

I think one of the things we all enjoyed was that everything was presented so well.  The presentation was amazing.  Everything was placed and garnished just right.  Another thing we all really liked was that everything that was placed on the table was placed in the center of the table to be shared.  I had actually told our friends that we should all order something different and try what the other had ordered.  I know this is tradition in many Asian cultures but it’s the first time we experienced it first hand. 

Our main dishes arrived and were all placed in the center of the table.  We were served Curry, Pad Thai, sautéed Eggplant with string beans, and Crab Meat Fried Rice.  The Curry was good, one of the better curry dishes I’ve had.  I don’t really like curry in general, but I liked that it had large pieces of vegetables and you could tell they were fresh.  The eggplant was sautéed with other vegetables it in a garlic basil sauce.  I have to look at the menu to tell you that, all I know is that it was good!  The pad Thai was also amazing with its just sweet enough flavor.  The noodles hit the spot for sure.  The crab meat fried rice was exquisitely flavored and was also amazing. 

By now you’re tired of hearing how good the food was.  You get the idea.  The restaurant itself is not very large.  But it’s a booming business.  When we arrived we were asked if we had made a reservation.  I never expected to make a reservation for a restaurant in a strip mall.  We were seated within a reasonable amount of time anyway.  The personal service and attention to detail were beyond compare.  We will be returning soon. 

I think it’s wonderful to see a restaurant booming in this economy.  That in itself tells me that it’s amazing food and service.  I wish the owner nothing but the best with his business and I’m sure we will see it grow even more.  I would say they have already outgrown the space they have now. 

We went out for Thai food for only the second time and were looking for a new experience.  We certainly got it.  And I would give them 5 stars for sure.  Next time I want to try the drunken noodles.  The atmosphere is kid friendly but I’m not sure there is much on the menu for kids.  We also loved that the food got less spicy as we went through the meal.  The first dish was spicy and they got progressively less so as we went on. 

Check it out.  It’s worth the trip, I promise.

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