Skip to main content

Style Magazine

Tong Thai Bistro

25035 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 120, Folsom, 916-510-1432,
@tongthaibistro2022, @tongthaibistro

In 2015, I spent about three months touring and climbing throughout Thailand. From Chang Mai in the north, to the bustling urban jungle of Bangkok, all the way to the coastal paradise of Railay, there was one dish that ruled them all: pad Thai. I ate it everywhere. In restaurants, on the street, practically off the floor. I loved it—and still love it—that much.

Mango Cha-Cha Curry; Photos by Taylor Gillespie © and wholly owned by Style Media Group


My experience with Thai food didn’t start there, though. I was fortunate enough to try tom kha, a savory and spicy soup, when I was about 12 years old. It was one of the best moments in my culinary life and my first foray into to the cuisine.

Now, whenever I go to a Thai restaurant for the first time, I always get one (if not both) of these dishes to see how they compare. 

Pad Thai; Photos by Taylor Gillespie © and wholly owned by Style Media Group


My experience at Tong Thai Bistro was both surprising and delightful. Jod, the owner, is a top-notch human and true representation of the Thai hospitality and kindness that made my experience in the country so memorable.

As for the food? I ordered the fresh spring rolls to start.  Unlike other Thai restaurants, Jod serves theirs with a sweet and spicy sauce, which accompanied the traditional peanut sauce beautifully.

Tom Kha; Photos by Taylor Gillespie © and wholly owned by Style Media Group


The tom kha came next, and it was everything I adore about it—savory, coconut milk broth infused with lemon, lemongrass, chili paste, and Thai spices alongside mushrooms, onions, cilantro, and chicken (I could’ve ordered it with shrimp, seafood, or tofu, too). My mouth is watering just writing this.

The pad Thai followed—a healthy helping of rice noodles stir-fried with bean sprouts, green onions, eggs, garlic sauce, ground peanuts, and my pick of protein (shrimp). With a little lime on top, I was transported right back to Thailand.

Fresh Spring Rolls; Photos by Taylor Gillespie © and wholly owned by Style Media Group


Then one of Jod’s specials: the mango cha-cha curry. When the plate came out, I literally said “WOW!” It was one of the most beautiful dishes I’ve ever been served. Fresh, masterfully cut mango shaped into a curry-filled heart with potatoes, carrots, green beans, and shrimp made this yellow curry a literal showstopper; people even commented from the table across the walkway.

I love spicy food, and the level three was right at my comfort zone. If you’re spice-averse, however, take it down a notch (or three).


Every table raved about the food and said they would be back.  Every one of them. If you’re looking for a memorable meal at a local hotspot with great ambience, even greater food, and an owner who cooks, serves, and treats you like a friend, then head to the tastiest new bistro on the block: Tong Thai. 

Hours: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; 4:30-9 p.m. (daily)
TRY THIS: Fresh Spring Rolls, Fried Tofu, Tom Kha, Kao Soi, Pad Thai, Mango Cha-Cha Curry, Panang Curry, Super Healthy Bowl; Basil Crispy Pork Belly
DRINKS: No alcohol
TAB: $$
HEADS-UP: Lunch specials on weekdays; vegetarian and gluten-free friendly; online ordering; reservations available; can customize spice level

by Ryan Martinez  |  photos by TAYLOR GILLESPIE

Photos by Taylor Gillespie © and wholly owned by Style Media Group—please don’t steal our copyrighted photos. For more information about our editorial photos, please click here to contact us