It may sound like a cool new Vin Diesel-Duff Goldman vehicle, but Off the Eaten Path is my new series on the food spots at which you must dine in Denton. I’m taking a break from my Love Guru ways to tell you where to find the hidden gems of Denton cuisine. We all know the classics and the staples, but these fine establishments farther away from the Square are worthy of your regular patronage, too.
For those of you craving a dish from the Far East, here’s a look at five fine Denton dining depots worthy of a look.
I discovered this gem during my time at UNT, and quickly became known for my weekly visits and taste for tasty khao sao. Oriental Garden does everything well, and all at convenient prices. The atmosphere is cozy, the staff is friendly, and it’s a short walk from campus and Fry Street. Start with the egg rolls or dumplings, enjoy a creative curry dish and cleanse your palate with some Thai Tea Ice Cream. They’ve earned their status as, “The OG.”
Oriental Garden: 114 N Ave B, ogdenton.com
Thai Ocha offers exemplary eats in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. Every item of the menu is authentic, fresh and prepared with love by a seasoned chef. You can’t go wrong with the pad thai, and gluten free options are aplenty. Their lunch specials during the week can’t be beat, and the portions are the perfect sized and seasoned deliciously. For the cold winter days, I recommend a cup of the Tom Yum soup. It’s slightly spicy and oh so good!
Thai Ocha: 1509 Malone St, Thai Ocha Facebook
Khao San Thai Kitchen
The owners of this authentic University Drive restaurant have honed their skills with two Thai ventures in Dallas, and it shows. The variety and authenticity of veteran restaurateur is all full display every day, and each dish bursts with flavor, spice and all things nice. If I had to pick a favorite, I’d go with the dumplings -- but it’s impossible to go wrong when you visit Khao San.
Khao San Thai Kitchen: 403 W. University #403, khaosanthaikitchen.com
Travel not, my hungry friends: You can get your fix of authentic Japanese cuisine right here in Denton. From sushi to hibachi and beautiful bento boxes, Blue Ginger has everything you need and more for an affordable yet lavish night of dining with a date, a friend or your family. Pro tip: Try the seared tuna tataki, and thank me later.
Blue Ginger: 2900 Wind River Ln, bluegingertx.com
The sushi is savory, the calamari is crimp and the wakame is wonderful. Need I alliterate more? To top it all off, J Sushi offers an Ahi Tower -- I repeat: a dish called the Ahi Tower. This restaurant is everything sushi lovers need and more, so what are you waiting for? I’ll race you to the door. They also have terrific lunch bento boxes, designed to fill you up without emptying your wallet.
J Sushi: 1400 S Loop 288 #100, J Sushi Facebook
Don’t worry, my foodie friends -- I’m just getting started with the tips and bad food puns. Stay tuned for more recommendations of fine Denton dining off the beaten path.