Lauri Sturdivant is interested in how our friends and families gather around a table sharing meals and telling stories. In this column she shares recipes and stories from people in Siskiyou County, and restaurant reviews from her travels. Read full interviews, find recipes and reviews at TheBillPlate.com

When I visited recently Natalee Thai Cuisine with my daughter, I was happy to see some new items on the menu and a new paint color on the walls. They now have seven different salmon dishes including grilled salmon with mango curry. Over the years I’ve eaten lunch and dinner at Natalee’s for lunch and dinner. The has always been food has been constantly good and the service is friendly and efficient.

Natalee’s has been serving Thai food to locals and travelers for over 13 years at 1225 S. Main St., Yreka. Natalee’s is located in the old El Rancho Café attached to the El Rancho Motel, now the Roadway Inn. The El Rancho was a popular stop back when highway 99 was the main route from Sacramento to Seattle. Natalee has kept the old horseshoe shaped counter seating, but over the years they replaced the booths with tables and chairs. The dining room is filled with light from the large windows and colorful Thai art hanging on the walls.

Natalee’s website states the owners were born and raised in Thailand. They operate the restaurant as a family business serving classic dishes from family recipes using seasonal and local ingredients. The menu includes appetizers, soup, salads, entrees and desserts. Entrees include curry dishes, classic noodle and fried rice offerings. I can recommend the yellow curry served with potatoes, carrots, and onions. Beverages includes sweet Thai iced tea and coffee, sodas, beer and wine. Natalee offers lunch specials, to-go or eat in, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

I ordered the seafood pho Thai noodle soup as part on my pho research with the goal of developing my own recipe. I’m guessing Natalee’s special addition to this noodle soup is dried shrimp flakes and bits of caramelize onions. Also, in the bowl were Rice noodle, bean sprouts, basil, green onions. The seafood medley incorporated mussels, shrimp, and calamari. The calamari was too rubbery to eat, but the shrimp and mussels were perfectly cooked. The broth was full of flavors and the bean sprout added a fresh crunch to the warm soup.

My daughter ordered the mainstay Thai noodle dish, Pad Thai with chicken. The menu says ingredients include stir fried rice noodles, egg, bean sprouts & green onions. It was served with grounded peanuts. We had to search for the egg, but they added plenty of green onions that made my daughter happy. The sauce had the sweetness I come to expect with Thai cooking.

Natalee’s is open for lunch and dinner Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. They are closed Sunday. They have plenty of vegetarian options. Orders to go or eat in the restaurant.

http://www.nataleethaicuisine.com/