Out of all the restaurants I have been to, I had yet to eat at one with such an elaborate design scheme as Lucky Elephant Thai Cuisine.
The decor made it feel as though I had left La Verne and entered Thailand.
The walls were a smooth light-colored wood panel, with little torch-like lights on them.
There were huge gold and crystal chandeliers that hung over the seating area complemented by a long glass display case of artwork depicting elephants and other figures.
As soon as I sat down a waiter came and poured water into my glass.
As I looked through the menu, acoustic Asian music played in the background.
Thai food originates in Thailand and is known for its combination of spicy, sweet and salty tastes.
The foods are often cooked with various herbs and spices native only to Thailand.
The menu was large and divided the entrees in sections such as appetizers, curries, dessert, rice, noodles, and vegetarian options.
It was hard to decide what I wanted because there were so many options including beef, chicken, and duck along with shrimp and sea food.
I eventually chose the Pad Thai noodles with pork, fried rice and chicken. When I had asked people what they knew about Thai food they always recommended Pad Thai.
Pad Thai is stir-fried rice noodles with eggs alongside other toppings.
Lucky Elephant offers pork, chicken, beef and vegetarian Pad Thai.
There were also various forms of rice such as pork, shrimp, chicken, beef and crab fried rice.
“I ordered the chicken pad thai and the fried donuts,” English major Lauren Brown said.
“I tried a bit of everything, all the food was really flavorful and the servers were really nice.”
My food came within minutes and as the waiter brought it out I could smell the steamy mounds of food before he even set them in front of me.
The servings were pretty large and offered enough food for at least three people.
The plates had various vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and lettuce.
After taking the first few bites I quickly noticed that Thai food was totally different than Chinese food. The rice tasted very rich and light.
The chicken added a much needed boost to the rice, and tasted delicious when mixed together with the Pad Thai.
“I got the pork fried rice and chicken Pad Thai, it was really different than other asian foods I’ve tasted,” said 20-year-old Ontario resident Kyle Palmer.
I first imagined the Pad Thai would be like chow mein; instead it was a series of thin flat noodles cooked with egg and mixed with pork.
With each bite I noticed a sweet taste followed by the flavor of the pieces of pork.
After several plates of rice and Pad Thai, I scanned the dessert section; there was homemade ice cream, lychee nuts, fried ice cream, Thai donuts and mango sticky rice. The Thai donuts are fried, served with Lucky Elephant’s secret sauce and topped with crushed peanuts. I ordered the fried ice cream, which was topped with chocolate drizzle, whip cream and a cherry on top. The flaky exterior was sweet while the ice cream inside was creamy and rich.
Lucky Elephant was a different and delicious experience; their food offerings were flavorful and unique, making it a great alternative to popular Americanized Chinese foods.
However, Lucky Elephant is best when visited with a group rather than one person because of the variety of options it offers as well as the portion sizes.
Michael Phillips can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.