Recently I was in Jacksonville on business. The hotel had a great view of downtown, and after getting settled in I walked to Basil Thai & Sushi for dinner. The restaurant is located at 1004 Hendricks Ave at the intersection of Prudential Drive. I dodged a car that paid no attention to cross walk signals and safely arrived outside the light orange colored building that suspiciously looked like a repurposed gas station.
The outdoor seating area was not open, and all of the chairs were neatly stacked atop one another. With the option of al fresco dining off the table, I made my way inside. I was greeted by the hostess and seated at a table in front of one of the windows. The seat cushion was well worn and I sunk into the bench seat.
Basil’s interior was modern and clean with a bar running the length of the rear. Tables filled in the middle space between the front windows, and to the right was a smaller dining area. Pendant lights illuminated the tables, and a string of icicle Christmas lights was strung haphazardly behind the bar.
A smiling young waitress came to my table with a large menu. She took my drink order and I began to look over Basil’s offerings. I have always found the restaurant combination of Thai and Japanese food to be suspect. Rather than focusing on one complex cuisine both end up suffering from mediocrity. (It would be like having a combination Spanish/ German restaurant relying upon the reasoning that they are both on the same continent.)
The waitress returned with my beer and a small glass and asked if I had made my selection. I ordered a simple tuna roll to start and then the panang curry as my entrée. Following a short wait my sushi arrived. Eight thinly slices nori covered rolls dotted with bright pink tuna were set out on an oblong white ceramic plate. At the back of the plate a squat sloppily assembled ninth piece rested. Wasabi and pickled ginger garnished the poorly presented plate. I have eaten many tuna rolls and have never had one so thinly sliced. It made dipping the sushi into the soy sauce difficult, and the roll had a tendency to fall apart. On the plus side, the tuna was fresh.
The panang curry arrived after the sushi plate had been cleared. Basil nailed the presentation on this dish as a modern square bowl was full of red and green bell peppers, baby corn, onions, carrots, snow pea, potatoes and large pieces of thinly sliced pork. A pyramid of jasmine rice completed the plate. The curry was moderately hot with just enough spice to enhance the flavors of the vegetables and meat. The curry was creamy and had a complex flavor which included lime. It was delicious.
Basil disappointed me with their sushi, but more than made up for it with the delectable panang curry. The restaurant is open for lunch Monday – Friday 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., dinner Monday – Thursday 5 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., and dinner on Friday – Saturday 5 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. For more information Basil visit Basil online at basilthaijax.com, Facebook, or contact the restaurant by telephone at (904) 674-0190.
Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating