“The foods of Southeast Asia are some of the most distinctive and flavorful dishes in the world…” —Landess Kearns, HuffPost
I received an email today from a woman named June, who I see at various yoga classes now and again at our health club. She, her husband George and a group of friends are going to a concert this coming weekend at the Mountain Winery Amphitheater and she wanted to dine at a restaurant I had told her about—before the show—but couldn’t recall the name.
“It’s Mynt Leaf Cuisine in Saratoga,”I wrote back, “that specializes in an exotic blend of Asian Fusion dishes.”
Cecile and I have become regular patrons over the last few years and had dinner there last Saturday with Cecile’s Mahjong friends Lori and Marleen and their husbands Rob and Mark who have also become fans.
When you enter Mynt Leaf there is a golden bronze-like Buddha image in a meditative state superimposed on a red and white painted lattice design at the top of the wall near the ceiling. Many people associate a meditating Buddha with peace and tranquility and incorporate images and statues in their homes, gardens and place of business in an effort to create that state of being for themselves and for their customers. Even for those who know little about Buddhism the Buddha image has become a universal symbol that reminds people to be mindful, and aspire to go with the flow in times of stress.
From the artistic point of view, the walls and surfaces are laden with Thai artwork and statues, canopies of colorful fabric hanging from the ceiling, ornate vases of flowers, yellow and beige accent curtains, crimson and burnt sienna pillows that adorn dark wooden benches and chairs, black napkins with red and gold decorative jewel-like napkin rings and silverware that glistens in low ambient lighting making for a pleasing and comfortable dining experience. It is an experiential feast of the senses to be sure.
The 3D Golden elephant menus are filled with a huge selection of imaginative tantalizing dishes for the most descriminating palates, with a wide variety of vegetarian options suited to the spice level of your choosing. We began our meal by sharing Thai style Chicken Satay with peanut sauce and cucumber salad, Garlic Noodles with New York Steak, green beans, my favorite Yellow Curry with grilled salmon, carrots, potatoes and onion, and Crispy Trout as you can see is standing erect in our friends plate.
"Hmmm, rather phallic looking," someone said to break the silence as we were all gawking at it trying to figure out what it was. I guess the chef took some bizarre artistic culinary license.
Other reasons to dine at the Mynt Leaf, are the attentive service, reasonable prices, low noise level—quiet enough to carry on conversation, fabulous “people watching,” and last but not least their “Bring Your Own Beer or Wine Policy” with a twist—no pesky, wasteful corkage fees.
P.S. Kudos to our friend Lori for taking a week out of her summer to volunteer to help the people of Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria.