Hello, Hesperia! This month I would like to honor another great restaurant in Hesperia: Go Bangkok. Sharon, Sheila and I (all of us are from the Hesperia Star) went there for lunch. Oh, it was wonderful. Everything was so fresh and cooked to order.

Dan and Kay Jitmanowan, and Kay's sister, Kai Cupradinan, own the restaurant. They moved from Florida to Hesperia in 2000. In 2002, they opened Go Bangkok on Main Street. In August 2008, they opened Go Bangkok Kitchen in Apple Valley.

"Everything is made to order," said Dan. "Everything is fresh."

Kay is originally from Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.

"I learned to cook from my mother's recipes," she said. "I remember so many of them and how she would put everything together."

Kay also learned to cook 'northern style' from her mother-in-law.

"Foods taste different from region to region," she explained.

What a wonderful lunch we had at Go Bangkok! We started our meal with sweet and creamy Thai iced tea. Kay said that it takes up to four hours for the perfect aroma with Thai iced tea.

"Thai food is characterized by balance and harmony of an amazing blend of hot, sweet and sour flavors," Dan said.

For appetizers, we ate Go Bangkok Bites: a combination of Thai spring rolls, fried tofu, curry puff, Moo Yang (marinated and grilled pork), fried wontons and satay (chicken skewers).

We also sampled coconut shrimp and yum spinach. Yum spinach is a house specialty.

"We're the only Thai restaurant that serves it up here," said Dan.

Kay created the recipe, replacing vegetable native to Thailand with spinach. The dish is lightly battered, fried spinach sprinkled with cashews and dressed with a light vinaigrette dressing.

Thai Coconut Shrimps

Ingredients:

1 egg
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups coconut flakes
26-30 jumbo size shrimp, peeled
3 cups vegetable oil
2 tablespoons plum sauce

Directions:

1. Mix egg, 1/2 cup flour, baking powder with 2/3 cup of water.

2. Place 1/4 cup flour, and coconut flakes in two separate bowls.

3. Dredge shrimps in flour, shaking of excess flour. Dip in egg batter then roll shrimps in coconut flakes.

4. Place flake-covered shrimps in tray, refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Fry shrimp in 250 degrees, in batches, until in golden brown color, place cooked shrimps in tray with paper towels to drain.

6. Serve warm with plum sauce.

The peanut sauce has always been my favorite until our big visit and sampling. It still is, plus now so is the yum spinach and coconut shrimp. Everything was delicious!

Thai Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
2 cups coconut milk
3/4 cup coarsely ground peanuts
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons tamarind juice (or lime juice)
1 tablespoon salt

Directions:

1. Put the oil in a sauce pan, heat up, add the curry paste into hot oil and fry until fragrant.

2. Add coconut milk and the rest of ingredients except the tamarind juice and salt; stir until the sauce thickens slightly.

3. Adjust the seasoning with tamarind juice and salt. The peanut sauce should taste slightly sweet followed by a touch of tartness and saltiness.

For our main dishes, we ate tofu cashew nut (fried tofu sautéed with cashew nuts and mixed vegetables), Choo Chee Goong (shrimp with curry and peanut sauce) and Choo Chee Chicken (chicken with curry and peanut sauce). We also sampled Gang Kari (chicken, potatoes, and onions in a very mild yellow curry sauce).

Pad Kee Mow (Thai Drunken Noodles)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons garlic, peeled & chopped
1/2 cup fresh bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup onion, peeled & sliced
8 ounces chicken slices
8 ounces wide flat rice noodles
1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon black soy sauce
1/4 cup tomatoes, cut
1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves

Directions:

1. Cook noodles in boiling water until tender, but firm, drain.

2. Heat oil in wok (or skillet), over medium-high heat. Add garlic and bell peppers, sauté for 30 seconds.

3. Add chicken, sauté until chicken is cooked.

4. Add noodles, tomatoes, onion. Toss and mix well, season with fish sauce, sugar and soy sauce.

5. Add basil leaves, sauté for 15-30 seconds an serve.

I want to thank Dan, Kay, and Kai for the sharing and giving of your time to us.

I was so impressed with their hospitality and how kind they were to us. I learned a lot about the Thai culture in the short time we were there. Dan showed us the Wai (pronounced "why") greeting, which is their manner of courtesy – your hands are clasped together and you bow instead of shaking hands. The younger generation always respects their elders who are greeted first, out of respect. Calling a person by first name is impolite in Bangkok: You are called "sister," "brother," "grandpa," "grandma."

The Thai equivalent of "How are you?" translates as "Have you eaten rice yet?"

"Khorb koon," thank you! You are wonderful and the food was "a-roi," delicious! Thank you to the Star for letting Sharon, Sheila, and I all go together. It was a great time. Hesperia, make a point to visit this wonderful restaurant. You are in for some fabulous Thai food! See you next month. Love, Charlene.

Go Bangkok is located at 15800 Main Street. You can call (760) 947-9029 for more information. They are on the Internet at http://www.gobangkok.webs.com/.