We also had the Pad Thai (with shrimp) and pineapple fried rice from the “Wok” menu, including the crab fried rice and spicy basil, which is the only other dish on the menu besides the salads. barbecue we haven’t tried yet. Both Wok options were solid, but we were already anticipating the main event – the BBQ, so we saved most of those two to take home.
Petaluma has some great Thai food options, but what sets Osha apart is their barbecue.
Osha’s barbecue platters all come with a papaya salad and a choice of steamed, fried, or dark sticky rice. We figured after our first visit that we would always choose fried rice in the future; However, our first try at black sticky rice was a real eye-opener. Not only fascinating to watch, but it also went well with the barbecue dishes and was a particularly nice addition to my curry reheating for lunch the next day.
The five barbecue options are chicken, beef, pork, pork ribs, and lamb. All were perfectly seasoned and prepared, each of us having our favorite. I liked them all, but the tender juiciness of the chicken was at the top of my list, followed closely by the lamb.
We ended our meal with the ever refreshing Thai sticky rice with a mango dessert.
With healthy portions and prices, our two visits resulted in plenty of leftovers. And after overnighting in our fridge, we’ll swear the flavors get even better with all soups and curries, probably because the extra time allows the various flavors to develop and blend together. Add in the leftover sticky rice and the barbecue and toss all the dishes for an amazing day after lunch.
Food and beverage service at Penngrove
During our lunch, we learned from a happy returning customer that Osha offers a catering service, after preparing his lunch the night before. It’s a great and innovative choice for any kind of party at home or in the office, as Osha’s menu has both great finger foods as well as main courses. And due to Osha’s excellent turnaround time, this makes for a great dinner option for Penngrovians, whether straight from home or on the way to their home after work, as they could easily place an order. by phone as late as the Novato Narrows and the food will be hot and waiting for them as they exit Highway 101.
Osha also compliments Petaluma’s excellent Thai restaurant choices by adding something different – a wide selection of Thai barbecue choices, as well as time-tested classics, such as Pad Thai, some curries, and a delicious Tom Yum soup.
What is “Thai cuisine”?
What most of us call “Thai cuisine” comes from the central plains of Thailand, home to the capital Bangkok along its southern edge. Stir-fry and noodles are popular here, as well as many curry dishes we’re used to here in the United States.
However, Thai cuisine is more of a general term as the four main regions of Thailand produce very different foods and flavors. Because Thailand has been along many historic trade routes, the cuisine benefits from contact with other cultures, embracing curries and samosas from India, stir-fries from China, and braised meats from Cambodia. They even expertly incorporated chillies and peanuts into their dishes, both of which are relatively new to Thai cuisine, which originated in the New World.
The northern region is heavily forested so there is a lot of fuel for cooking resulting in a lot of grilling, the weather is not hot enough for coconuts so dishes have to rely on water or broth for moisture instead of coconut milk, and because of the availability of several bitter herbs, cooking has a hint of astringent.
In the south, seafood is king, but without easy access to firewood, much of the cooking revolves around sun-dried items, such as shrimp paste. The south is also known to be the spiciest region of Thailand and relies heavily on coconut milk due to the coconut palm blooms in hot weather.
Chalida O’Ranratana, the founder of Osha Thai, hails from northern Thailand, where strong, tangy flavors are popular, including fish sauces. Additionally, grilling is prevalent in this region, which inspired Chalida’s brand new restaurant to offer Thai barbecue.
At 22, Chalida (pronounced “sha-LEE-da”) joined her sister Lalita Souksamlame in Los Angeles, working in the restaurant business to support herself and gain experience. The two moved to the Bay Area, launching their first restaurant, OSHA Thai Noodle Café in Geary and Leavenworth in San Francisco. From this first location, Chalida and Lalita opened several other Thai restaurants, usually with the name “Osha Thai”. Their other eateries include multiple Osha Thai Express, Osha Thai Noodle, Osha Thai BBQ, chic Osha Thai at the Embarcadero, Lao Table (serving Laos food), and Bann (a resort-style bed and breakfast in Napa) . Chalida discovered Petaluma while helping to open another Sonoma County restaurant for a friend and immediately liked the city and the people and therefore wanted to open a restaurant here.
With Chalida having so many plates in the air, my first contact with Osha Thai barbecue was Pollapak Anantakunupakorn, known as “Puck”. Puck grew up in Bangkok before spending his teenage years in England attending school.
According to Puck, “Osha” means tasty, delicious, and enjoyable eating. “It’s an expression we say when we taste something and say, ‘oh, delicious! “. Puck has helped Chalida with construction and installation for the past two years, including opening the new Osha Thai Express in Oakland and the quick opening of Petaluma’s first Osha Thai barbecue. Yes, I said ‘first’ because they are already in the process of securing an additional location which would be in the “new” shopping center of Lucky (on Lakeville).
Osha Thai BBQ is located at 1390 N. McDowell Blvd. A in the old “OSH” shopping center on the corner of N. McDowell and Old Redwood Hwy. It’s in the corner at the opposite end of the same building as Caffe Giostra. More recently, this space was a short-lived Thai restaurant and, before that, an Indian restaurant.