Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

food slideshow - be careful, some pics maybe xxx rated!

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Saturday Sunday Scrumptiousness at Sab E Lee

So, we've been stuck in this rut. Well, we've been carving the rut out and we want to stay buried in it. We've been going to Sab E Lee, almost every Saturday or Sunday for the past month. It's an addiction. Every time, it's so hard to choose, because we aren't rich, so we can only have really 3 dishes each time. So the dilemna is that we want our favorites, but we also want to try new items as well. I know I've posted about Sab E Lee before, but I just wanted to give you a peak into our obsessiveness and the little routines that we get into in our lives. Why? Because our lives are so exciting! No, not really, unless you are obsessed with eating like we are. Going to Sab E Lee is usually the highlight of my week, or at least it's always in the top 5.

Bamboo Shoot Salad. This is a must have every time. We like it so much that we haven't gotten papaya salad in a long time. The bamboo shoot salad seems to be mixed warm with ground dried fish, rice powder, onion and lime juice. We've been getting it 7, which is quite hot for me - in a good way now, not so good way 1 day later... if you know what I mean.

Here it is at the La Mesa location. We've only been there once. We went on a Monday since the Ulric location was closed. I would go to the La Mesa location if I were taking a big group or it were a Monday. Otherwise, I wouldn't really bother. I realize the original crew is at the La Mesa location, but it's hard to get over the menu setup at this one. It's so americanized. I realize that they are catering to a different audience. They still have some of the specialties that we love. But it is farther away and not as cozy!

Spicy raw beef. I think this is the Food Pimp's favorite next to the bamboo shoot salad. We don't get it every time, even though I can tell he wants to. It has rice powder, lots of lemongrass and lime juice. And it comes with these large slices of raw garlic on top, for some reason. I don't eat the garlic. But it's a really good dish. Not scary like some raw dishes at other places because the restaurant seems sketchy. Sab E Lee is not scary at all!

Here's the same dish at the La Mesa location. Actually, this may have been the first or second time we had ever gotten it. It's equally wonderful at both locations.

Pork with chinese broccoli with steamed rice. Man, I love chinese broccoli. I love to cook it - it's so cheap at the store - but whatever it is, they always cook it better at asian restaurants? Maybe I'm too white? People don't always think I'm Pilipina. Sometimes they just think I'm white, half mexican, half black, someone thought I was creole the other day! I guess when you look at the Pilipinas around San Diego who look like they just finished eating their balut and stepped off the ferry, then I suppose when you compare me to them, I look white. Boo! I just wanted to be white half of my childhood, and now that I'm embracing my heritage more, I'm not brown enough. In fact, when I spend too much time in the sun, I get dizzy! How the hell would I survive in the Philippines?

Here's another bamboo shoot salad. Yum.

Holy Poop, BBQ Pork Neck. I first tried this when I went to Sab E Lee with Canine Cologne and Laotian Flower. Love it. Tender meaty, juicy pork neck.

Here is the broccoli with oyster sauce and beef. I can't remember what the difference is between this one and the one over rice is, but for some reason, I believe the other one seemed to have more meat, and that one was with pork, which I am a bigger fan of than beef. Their steamed rice is not to be overlooked.

While their sticky rice is a must have every time we go - the basket that it comes in is pictured on the left of yet another bamboo shoot salad from another visit - the steamed rice is a winner too!

Here is the famous dish - Phad Thai. This is the first thai dish I ever tried back in Nola at Bangkok Thai below Rock n Bowl. I'm not sure how Sab E Lee's phad thai is compared to other restaurants. This was not our dish. They brought it to our table, so I took a picture of it before I told them it was for the annoying old ladies behind us. They were those kind of fussy old ladies that go "lunching" at Thai and Sushi restaurants, probably because their husbands don't like such exotic fare as medium spicy red curry, phad thai and california roll. Am I being too harsh and judgemental? Well, that's what I do. That's probably part of why I try to be relatively anonymous. I mean, if you want to dig and find out who I am, that can be easily accomplished without having to shell out for 1800USSEARCH, but you do have to do a bit of research. Anyway, we were enjoying a pleasant lunch until the ladies walked in. They were louder than necessary. And you know, they ordered like iced tea with like specific instructions, and also instructions about the curry and the rice too. I swear, they reminded me of the ladies who were behind us at Bai Yook maybe a year and a half ago - the last time we went there because we had not been to Sab E Lee yet. Wow, I can't imagine life without Sab E Lee. We were so not so young and naive back then!

Here's the panang curry we got another time. I think we had not tried curry since the very first visit to Sab E Lee. Their curry is really good, but it's hard for me to settle with curry too often when there are so many more exciting dishes to try! On saying that, I love the way it's so saucy. I could typically eat curry sauce over rice and not have too many solids in it, although the solids are integral to the flavor of the dish.

Half fried chicken thai style. It was pretty yummy, but we were kinda disappointed. One time we went, and this family next to us got the whole fried chicken. So it had everything - including the feet. Maybe when we have more people with us we can get the whole chicken.

BBQ beef. Good. Maybe great. But it's no pork neck!

MINT LEAVES OVER RICE WITH STEAMED PORK LEG. The all caps was mandatory in describing this dish. This might be in the running for my last supper list. I mean, c'mon. Just the name sounds delicious, right? OH MA GAWD is it too good to be accessible to me in my catholic guilt non-worthy or deserving of food this good! It's like, it's so good I don't want to blog about it, because I can't do it justice! I don't have a literate enough vocabulary to describe... let me count the ways!

Here is the long beans with... I want to say it's beef. It's from the La Mesa location. I know that we ordered something that they didn't have, and this was the replacement dish. So I think we ordered the pork and mint leaves possibly, and they didn't have pork? So my conclusion is that we got long beans with beef. Such a bad memory I have!

This is to show what we got when we went this past Tuesday. We didn't make it over the previous 2 weekends, so we were long due for a visit. Raw beef and bamboo shoot salads, and the pork leg and mint leaves over rice. Then we got a new dish too. Yes, we broke the 3 dish rule!

So, I believe we were supposed to get the spicy mint leaves noodle with beef. But something happened, and they didn't have it, so I think we got the chow mein? So this was not spicy, but it was kinda a good thing. The soft texture, and the lack of spice in this dish had a cooling effect after eating the other dishes. So I alternated between them all. Thankfully they fill the water in a timely manner here. In other restaurants, it's like their sadists and they like to watch people suffer from dehydration before they give them more water. So it's nice to say that we go to Sab E Lee enough to be recognised as regulars. They are very friendly when they see us walk in, and when we leave, they say, see you next week!



We have tried so far only the Santee/La Mesa location and even though it is the best Thai food in SD we were a bit disappointed compared to reviews you can read on Chowhound and other pages - perhaps we should try the Linda Vista location.
If you are ever in Las Vegas you should go to Lotus of Siam which was eye-opening for us regarding Thai food and we can now understand why many foodies think it might be the best Thai restaurant in the US

Anonymous said...


caninecologne said...

hi fh - the new sab e lee is actually in santee not la mesa.

kinda scary driving there...i take the 125 and the intersection where the 125 meets mission gorge road is where that cop and his family died in the runaway lexus. i just got chills typing that. the cop's wife was filipina - she's the aunt of one of my former students....

loved the variety of dishes you featured. i remembered that pork neck from last year - good choice! I need to try their banana blossom salad. try the #48 issan sausage next time! that shit is good!

girl, i'm on vacay for 2 weeks! call me so we can have lunch!!!!!

you want to try soul food? lao? sab e lee? anything by boring american food please!

the food ho said...

Sorry about the La Mesa, Santee confusion! I've been in that area twice. One time for Sab E Lee and one time to play a show to our 3 friends and the locals who started to trickle out once we started playing! I think the bar was listed as being in Santee and La Mesa on the internets, thus starting my confusion.

If you've never been to the Linda Vista location, you should definitely try it.

CC - I think we tried the sausage when we went for lunch! I liked it, but I think the FP was lukewarm on it... because it's not blow your head off spicy! Maybe we'll get it next time.

Soul Food is always good as long as it's not hot out...we haven't been to the one that I think you went to. There is also Sister Pee Wee's which is interesting for the whole cultural experience. Sab E Lee, we'll always go there. Dim Sum, while not exciting is always yummy! I've also been wanting to go to Villa Manila, I've never been. Hope you're having a good trip!

KirkK said...

Hey FH - Funny I haven't run into you folks there yet. I often do take-out.

And yes, the Sab E Lee in Santee is more Bangkok style. There is a huge leap in flavor between Bankgog style Issan, and the real deal, and it seems that you guys prefer the Issan style dishes.

Same with LOS, you need to stick with the Issan stuff - the Koi Soi at LOS is sublime. And even some of the Lanna style dishes are excellent. The last time we had a wonderful Nam Prik. Of course we see most folks ordering Pad Thai, etc.....

I thought that most of the posts on CH were on the Linda Vista location.... guess I'm out of the loop.

caninecologne said...

hi fh -
i went to SEL2 in santee w/a friend and fk, it was closed! so we ended up eating lao at asia cafe.

let me know when is a good day/time for you. i'm free any day except this fri/sat/sun. we'll be out of town...

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