t’s been over a decade since I’ve visited Tao’s Oriental Cuisine
, hidden in a tiny shopping center off North Gate Boulevard. Our server says ownership changed a couple years back, and the Korean items are now gone. The menu’s mostly Chinese, but we order from its small Thai section. A perfect covered spot outside the entryway lacks patio seating, so we dine in the lovely weather on a grassy spot nearby. A Thai Spring Egg Roll ($4.95) sports a scant bit of vermicelli and carrot thread, a few fresh, cold shrimp, and a thick wad of lettuce, all refreshing in a warm, pasty peanut sauce. We ask what constitutes a Thai Royal Curry Chicken ($12.95) versus the common curry, learning it’s “not soupy,” though still coconut milk-based. We request no MSG, yet forget to set a heat level, so we’re pleased when it arrives pretty spicy, with generous thin-shaved, chile-flake-flecked chicken pieces and chopped scallions and cabbage for crunch. We appreciate that there’s no green bell pepper filler; it’s a nice bite.