Review: Thaibodia

11:48 AM Kari R. 3 Comments

Did it break the JLYMSF and TBell Curse? Or, is it doomed the same fate?

As you may recall, last year I took the risk and ate at Just Like Yo Mamma Soul Food – aka the former T Bell, which is next to Mr. Chow’s. I know – it’s such a nice stretch of culinary wonders on Meridian Avenue.

You may also remember that this was one of the worst food experiences of my life. Not only because of the IOU, the stomach ache and heartburn the followed, but basically it was the grossest food that I’ve ever eaten at a restaurant.

Lesson learned: never go to place that doesn’t have silverware, a working soda machine and looks ghetto. Recipe for disaster.

After JLYMSF vacated, a new restaurant Korean restaurant opened that I wanted to try. But, alas that too seemed to be cursed and closed not long after opening.

Then, Thaibodia opened. I thought to myself “hell yes I need to go, even if I get another horrible stomach ache, I need to at least test it out, for my blog.”

Upon approaching the restaurant, the same distinct Taco Bell brick lined the building. But, Thaibodia really cleaned it up. I mean, a legit sign and no BBQ weber in my way to the entrance. Major clean up.

When I walked in, the place had been TRANSFORMED. First off, hardwood floors lined the former concrete ground. Second, the kitchen in now hidden (as it should be) and you walk right into a cozy waiting area. Looking around, there were just a few booths with seating for maybe a maximum of 20 people. Each table had white table clothes, silverware and cloth napkins. And, as soon as we were seated, we were offered water (Hooray! I didn’t have to go get a drink at Mr. Chow’s)!

Now came the tricky part, what to order?

Well, even though I am pretty adventurous, I have to admit kinda hate spicy curry and my go-to option is always Pad Thai since I love noodles.
But, we ended up ordering: Papaya salad, Roti (thai pancakes), Pad Thai (chicken) and coconut rice.

The papaya salad was pretty bomb. In fact, the papaya was shaved down to resemble noodles (totally fooled me) and was served on a bed of crisp lettuce, tomatoes, chili’s and ground peanuts that gave the nice crunch I was looking for.

Pad Thai Chicken – seriously, I am not sure how you can go wrong with this. What I loved about this one was it wasn’t spicy at all, in fact it was a bit sweeter than other pad thai dishes I’ve had. Fried tofu was also a nice plus that was included in the dish.

The Roti was actually an afterthought after we saw the peeps at the next table order them. They were pretty similar to a less flakey version of phyllo dough served with the house curry sauce aka peanut dipping sauce. This afterthought ended up being a major success – I mean, how can you really go wrong with fried goodness and peanut sauce? My thoughts exactly.

The last side was the coconut rice. I basically just realized that I am in love with this after having a side of it in Vegas.

So, the million dollar question: would I go back?

Um, YES. To be honest, I was probably a way easier critic of this place since my expectations were extremely low (after all the place still resembles T.Bell and occupies the infamous JLYMSF). But, it was actually modestly priced, had a friendly hostess and the food had the perfect combination of sweet and spice to it (for me).

Will you be willing to make the trek?

Name: Thaibodia
Address: 916 Meridian Avenue, San Jose CA 95126
Pricing: Main courses are around $7-11, but can feed two – three people
Byte Rating: 3.5 out of 5


  1. I'd be interested. But I've past it and they still have one major renovation to do....the exterior is still in the shape of the traditional taco bell aka a bell curve.

    Not attractive.

  2. I intend to try it out

  3. Yes, your right it still has the TBell curve (ha, you can't really mask it).

    I think that if this place is able to make it they should seriously consider doing a major face lift for the exterior.

    All in all, if you don't mind the looks, I'd recommend trying it out.