Cracking The Code At George's Thai Bistro

George's (Santa Ana) is a local fave of ours, not just for the decent Thai food but also for the counter-side eating (complete with corner TV) and ice-cold Singha beer. Plus which, portions are always big enough for two meals (dinner, plus lunch straight from the fridge the next day).

But then there's the one-to-ten spiciness scale for the entrées, which can be baffling for first-timers--or even regulars, for that matter.

While we do know people who have ordered "Ten Plus" and survived to tell the tale--albeit with tears streaming down their cheeks--we're not prepared to go down that route. We know how a chef's mind works: challenge them and they will make you pay.

On the other hand, if you go any lower than a five you might as well be eating Cream of Wheat.

So here's our solution: ask for a six every time. Whether it's a curry, a special (such as pork with southern curry fried rice, which we enjoyed recently), or a pad thai, number six always delivers, providing just the right amount of heat (meaning, for me at least, not too much).

Knock on wood, it never fails us.

George's Thai Bistro I, 3732 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana, (714) 979-8366; George's Thai Bistro II, 1450 Baker St., Costa Mesa, (714) 708-2339


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