When you walk into Blue Elephant, the first thing that jumps out at you is the elegant, intimate feel of the room. It’s a cozy little spot, perfect for date night or a quiet, relaxing meal.
White orchids and linens provide sophisticated elements, and the soft, classic Thai music gives the restaurant a romantic mood. Blue Elephant’s customer service hits the mark on all cylinders with a warm, personalized experience. The Dudes’ hosts, Chom and Natasha, were exceptional. They greeted us at the door with huge smiles, explained every dish we ate with meticulous detail and even served us themselves. It felt like we had come home after a long trip on the road.
Traco Matthews on the crab cakes: I tried the crab cakes for the first time and they were delightful. The cake itself was more classic than innovative, a hot mix of real crab meat, mayo, mustard, peppers and other veggies blanketed with crispy panko bread crumbs. While the crab cake itself was good, the mango salsa elevated the dish to greatness! A light, sweet-and-sour base, fresh bell peppers and diced mangoes added up to excellence. Together, they created a crab cake dish better than any I’ve had in town.
Robert Gautney on the calamari de Thai: I was excited to go to Blue Elephant. I normally wouldn’t order calamari because I prefer other options, but the Blue Elephant version is spot on. Steak-like strips of calamari were lightly flavored and covered in panko bread crumbs then deep-fried to a golden brown. Add in the spicy mayo dipping sauce and the result is a firm, crunchy and tasty opening act.
Henry Sanchez on the chicken and veggie pot stickers: I started off the meal with the steamed chicken and veggie pot stickers. They came in a light and creamy sauce called Panang sauce. That sweet peanut sauce complemented the pot stickers perfectly. I enjoyed the saltiness from the dumpling and the sweetness from the panang sauce; it made the dish perfection.
Jeremy Hearron on the tom kah soup: I am not a coconut fan normally, but Chom and Natasha at Blue Elephant implored me to give the Tom Kah soup a shot. And sweet baby Jesus I am so glad they did. I could have had this soup only and been more than ecstatic – devilishly content. It comes out in this silver bowl, boiling and steaming, a pretty awesome presentation. This white-and-red soup masterpiece gets its colors from the coconut, chili oil and the dried and fried Thai chilies used to create this gem. Chicken, tomatoes, lime and galangal root, a cousin to the ginger root, round out this dish. I was blown away by this soup, from the intricacies of chili heat and sweet coconut to the bite of the galangal, citrus and the texture of the chicken. No joke, I went through three bowls of this soup.
Josh Fitzpatrick on the cream cheese wonton with sweet-and-sour sauce: I had a good idea that the entire meal was about to be amazing the moment I took that first bite of these cream cheese wontons. They were so stuffed to the brim with cream cheese and crab that they almost popped when you bit into them. Just when things couldn’t get better, they did – the sauce. I didn’t know it was possible for one sweet-and-sour sauce to set itself apart from others, but Blue Elephant made it so. The flavor was perfect, but the real kicker was the consistency – somewhere between a jelly and a liquid, it was thicker than other sweet-and-sour sauces I’ve previously tried, making it delicious.
Josh Fitzpatrick on the pineapple fried rice: I love Thai food, and I love pineapple fried rice. This entrée included a generous portion of pineapple, chicken and shrimp but there were two ingredients that stood out from the crowd here: the raisins and the curry. There was more curry than I’ve had in this dish than anywhere else, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much it enhanced the dish. And there were enough raisins to show up in each bite, balancing the curry perfectly. Add that all up and you’ve got the most flavorful pineapple fried rice I’ve ever had.
Henry Sanchez on the spicy basil chicken: This was by far one of the best meals I have had when eating Thai cuisine. The dish was stir-fried with a mix of veggies and chicken in a hot chili sauce. I’m usually disappointed when a food has spicy in the name and it’s not at all hot. But this dish did the opposite. It had a balance of sweetness from the bell peppers and a real kick of heat from the chili sauce. The chicken was tender and juicy. To top it off, the aromatics from the fresh basil and Thai chilies really added another layer to the dish; it smelled amazing. I’ll definitely be back soon, especially for this.
Robert Gautney on the rice noodles pad thai:
When this dish was placed on the table, it immediately caught my eye with all of its color. Our version came as a combination with chicken, beef and shrimp, but you can customize it. Rice noodles are stir-fried with egg, green onion and bean sprouts in tamarind sauce with more fresh bean sprouts and crushed peanuts on the side. There are so many flavors and textures as you move from bite to bite. This dish is not as hot and spicy as the others we tried, but I just couldn’t keep my fork away! If I only had one thing to order, pad thai would be it. I guess that’s why they call it “the dish that made Thai food famous!”
Traco Matthews on the green curry salmon: I continued my culinary escapade with the green curry salmon, a first-time experience for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect – thought it might be too spicy, too green, too bizarre a combo for my more conventional tastes. Thankfully, it was none of those things. Of all the dishes we tried, it was one of the more moderate entrées, spiced just enough to keep your interest. The flavors were definitely unique. In addition to spicy, the green curry was mildly sweet and the basil, bell peppers and eggplant combined created a strong flavor. I’ve never had salmon like that before and I will definitely try it again.
Jeremy Hearron on the whole fish three ways: The experience at Blue Elephant had surpassed my expectations and then came a whole fried bass with fried basil, bell peppers and three Thai chili sauces. Let me hit the flavor first: This dish was warm with spice the whole way through. The heat was a flavor component – not overpowering at all. It was the perfect complement to the sweet bell peppers and minimal basil flavor. This sauce would be insane poured over anything.
But at Blue Elephant, they decide to bathe a fried whole bass with it. This fish was perfectly cooked, and I mean perfect. The frying takes this fish to another plane. You get crisp and crunch that leads to flaky, moist meat and when combined with the sauce, is an unbeatable taste. You have to try the cheek meat: It’s the best part of the fish, dense and rich. I loved the presentation; the whole fish piled high with basil looked like nothing I had ever ordered before. Please do me a favor: Take a chance and order this dish, I beg you. I promise you it will not disappoint.
Drinks and Desserts:
Jeremy Hearron on the blue soju mojito: Not typically a mojito fan, I went for the blue soju mojito and I was not disappointed. It was extremely refreshing. This is the drink you want on a Bakersfield summer day. There was mint like a typical mojito, but it did not overwhelm. The blue curaçao and lime balanced well together, but the star was the soju. soju is a Korean liquor, similar to vodka. This mojito would have been overly sweet for my taste buds had the soju not cut through and brought everything together.
Bakersfield listen to me: When it is 90-plus degrees outside, go to Blue Elephant and order this drink. You’re welcome.
Robert Gautney on the sweet sticky rice with mango: This dessert doesn’t look like much in front of you – after all, it’s just rice and mango, right? But once you dive in, you are captivated with the warm rice, cooked with coconut milk and sugar, coupled with sweet, ripe mango. Bite after tasty bite, it reels you in for more. I went a bit further and added some coconut ice cream, making this a dessert I wanted all to myself.
Josh Fitzpatrick on the Thai iced tea: You can’t say you’ve had a Thai meal unless it includes a Thai iced tea. This creamy, sweet beverage pairs perfectly with the spicy and savory entrees that we enjoyed. Blue Elephant’s Thai iced tea was portioned appropriately and presented unmixed, with the white of the sweet milk resting on top of the dark tea base. Give it a stir and a sip and you’re good to go!
Henry Sanchez on the coconut ice cream: For dessert, I got to try the coconut ice cream. This was a great way to end an already great meal. Made with coconut milk and fresh shreds of coconut flesh, it was similar to a soft serve with its silky consistency. It was light, creamy and wasn’t overly sweet, which is what I enjoyed the most. ￼