My friend Selene invited a bunch of us to have authentic Thai food at the Buddhist Temple and my first question was “what if you’re not Buddhist”? No problem!
Located off the beaten path in Chino Hills, this Buddhist Temple has a food court that is open to the public every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 3:00, but there’s more vendors on Sundays. It’s probably one of the best Thai food you’ll find, and inexpensive, too.
When you enter the Temple driveway, veer right and continue past the Temple Hall, and you’ll see the covered, outdoor food court to the right. There’s even a sigh that says “No Cash Token only”. There’s a kiosk in the front where you buy the tokens, but it’s cash only. Did I mention the food is inexpensive? $20 worth of tokens is plenty to feed 2 people.
After I purchased my tokens, I walked down the rows of vendors to check out what they had to offer. Most of the vendors posted their menu in Thai, but you can make out what they sell. The vendors will offer samples of their food too.
Here’s some of the food I could decipher:
– Soup noodle bowl – served hot and spicy
– Mango sticky rice with coconut and other fresh fruits
– Fresh Spring roll with shrimp
– Noodle guy who makes pad thai, pad see ew, and even fried rice
– Satay (I saw chicken but I heard they also have pork)
– Curry filled bread
– Larb (ground chicken with spices)
– Thai tea and coffee (and other soft drinks)
With my $20 in tokens, I purchased from one booth
– Pad Thai noodles $5
– Pad See Ew (rice noodles) with chicken $5
The vendor made the food right there, so I had to wait. I paid for the meal by dropping my token(s) in the black bucket with Thai writing.While he was making my noodles, I went to the next booth to order
– 2 skewers of chicken Satay at $2 each
– a Thai coffee and a Thai Iced Tea at $2 each.
Even after paying for lunch, I still had $2 left over! I used the leftover money to buy another Thai Tea.
They have plenty of picnic tables so you can eat there, or you can get the food to go. Selene said the Satay is usually the first to sell out because people take tons of them home to eat later. I couldn’t finish my Pad Thai, and had to take 1/2 of it home. It’s a hidden place, so use your GPS. It’s a nice place to walk around after eating. If you want to experience all of the food, bring a group of friends and share it family style. You may be tempted to take home food to eat later, too.