Summer Canteen offers a menu for Toluca Lake diners that is, well to put it simply, refreshingly summer. Thailand inspired dishes are light, refreshing and imaginative, yet amazingly satisfying – everything you think of when you think about summertime.
To begin your experience at Summer Canteen, try the isan fermented sausage, a classic appetizer in northeastern Thailand typically eaten as a snack. The salmon kham wan sashimi with zesty chili-lime Thai dipping sauce is another winner. From there you can jump to one of the rice or noodle dishes such as the very popular orange chicken or honey walnut shrimp. Whatever you choose, Summer Canteen provides an experience you won’t soon forget, even well into winter.
We have happily done take-out from Summer Canteen since it opened several years ago, but our in-house dining experience there on Feb. 14th was a huge disappointment. The Nibbler appetizer was interesting, but drowning in a sweet syrup. The beef salad was also over-dressed and the beef was so tough as to be inedible. The Orange Chicken arrived with the wrong rice which was quickly replaced, but the chicken was dry and gummy, and again swimming in the orange coating. They were busy, but that is no excuse for poorly prepared food. Our take-away lesson was stick to take-out and the two dishes - chicken pad Thai and chicken curry - that we've always ordered in the past. Granted we should have sent our food back, but rather than make a fuss, we just chalked it up to an unfortunate experience on what was certainly a way off night.
Make sure to check your credit card statement as the waitress decided to give herself a nice big tip. Good thing i check!
This restaurant has a slightly different take on Thai/Asian. All of the sauces are very light but extremely flavorful. The egg rolls are maybe the size of a cigarette but still have that wonderful flavor. My favorite appetizer is the savory nibbles.
3 of us went for an early dinner prior to the theatre... the ambience is not to my pleasure, because it's very industrial and loud .. no ceiling and exposed a/c ducting etc, which was trendy... . everything was fine, the food was good, service too.. but the music kept getting louder, and louder at 6pm to 7pm.. there were only 3 tables with patrons inside and a couple outside, but we had to increase our speaking volume to be able to be heard while trying to have a dinner conversation... Impossible eventually, so I did ask them to please turn down the music, and they graciously did.. but it's unbelievable... what's with these restaurants...why do they think people need their loud music... instead of each other????
Being a vegetarian, I had their curry noodle. It was so tasty. My friend had the beef salad and said it was good, but has tasted better. Since it is out of my area, I would not be able to frequent this place, but if I lived in the neighborhood, I would go their often.
Summer Canteen puts out some of the best Thai food around. I just wish it were closer to home. We'd really eat here more often.
The food is always absolutely delicious, beautifully plated and thoroughly enjoyed every time we come here. The waitstaff is very attentive and efficient.
This time we had the Burmese tea salad, Black pepper sole, Panang beef curry and Pad see u. All terrific ... can't wait till we go again.
Reasonably priced alternative to the usual lunch spot. Fresh and flavorful dishes. Healthy too. Service can be spotty when it comes to tracking down your check.
This place serves great Asian food with a little Singapore style! Delicious! Must try! Service was attentive.
fresh, well-displayed, and spicy food! intimate spot and friendly waiter/ess. tom yum was tasty, but baby corn was from a can, when i specifically asked for all fresh veggies. a great date spot.
I keep looking for a Thai restaurant with better Pad Thai than my local little place, and this is not it...I will say their coconut soup and beef pho soup were delicious. I had to smell the soup, just to take in all the spices. Mmmm...really exotic. I've never had pho soup, so I'm not an expert, but the flavor was really nice. It's not a fancy place, and it doesn't pretend to be. Perhaps it's best suited as a lunch spot.
I love the Summer Canteen. The Thai food is always very good and not just the same old thing... For instance, one of my favorites is their Burmese Tea Leaf Salad; made with cashews, tea leaves, and fresh veggies it's light and tasty. The curries are also great. The beer selection is unusual for a small restaurant in that they feature a number of craft and Belgian beers on tap with a good selection in bottles, too. Service is attentive and the waitstaff is very friendly...
I've lived in the valley for many years and while there are a ton of Thai places, most are mom and pop shops with little ambiance and no great vibe. This has it all. GREAT tasting food, but also a cool atmosphere that is casual but could also be a fun date place. Interesting selections and incredible Thai Tea Creme Brulee. It's also got all the basic favorites-- pad thai, som tam, mango sticky rice. Best of all, it doesn't break the bank. I would definitely recommend here over most Thai places around the valley.
Tasty fresh food. Nice for lunch. Can be hard to get your check once you have finished eating.
Pleasant discovery -- really appreciated, and enjoyed the staff, upbeat,friendly, extremely helpful, and knowledgeable .
Not your run of the mill Thai place. Interesting selections and reasonably priced lunch options. Great option when a sandwich won't do.
This place is described as a Thai restaurant with Vietnamese and Burmese fusion/influences. This seems to be the only Burmese restaurant in any distance within the Valley, which I've been on the search for. The food, service, and ambiance were all great! Had the tea leaf salad, yellow curry noodles, and the green curry with brown rice. All were very delicious!!!
We go here for lunch offend...I could eat here everyday. :-)
The Chef is amazing. Beautiful presentation and the taste so flavorful! Definitely a neighborhood gem!!
Pad Thai was quite good. Service was horribly slow. Ambiance was uninteresting. Restaurant is too loud. I wouldn't go back, but might order take out.
The food is very good. The ambience is bright, lots of big windows. Simple, hip furnishings. Long tables. I had been there for dinner several times and it was almost empty so quiet. This time I went at lunch time and it was packed so noisy. Good lunch specials for 5.99. Near the studios etc. so popular for lunch.
Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful!! Did not disappoint. Read the Yulp reviews & had read a article from Westways on sm. neighboohood spots. Decided to go for it, since it was a special occasion and wanted a low key enviroment. So many wonderful selections. We were a party of 4 and all of us enjoyed our entrees and will defiently be back for more. What a mix of texture, heat, and yumminess !! Thank You Yelp !!!
The food was very good. We will try to work our way through the menu.
Food here was typically Thai and very well prepared and served. Nice, clean place
This was my first time here. The setup is very pretty, the food was delicious and ridiculously affordable, and the waitresses were all very nice. This was a great find.
"Medium spicy" equated to "burn your mouth off spicy" in our book, and we're Thai foodies. Nevertheless, the spicy basil with ground chicken rocked the house!
Very good food, draft beers were excellent.
I took my brother to lunch who is visiting from out of town.
It was my first visit as well. I found the menu interesting
and though I was looking for more choice, I settled with a standard
(Orange Chicken) while my brother ordered the Summer Rice.
My dish came over cooked... dry chicken and I do not do so well.
My brothers dish was wonderful. They took back my dish and offered
to make another, but my experiences in restaurants teach me to say
"no thank you, I am not interested in chancing it again". Since the menu is limiting
(though interesting) and my diet not allowing much of the other choices, I passed.
They handled the situation very well and I may give it a chance another time once
this experience fades. The staff is
Summer fried rice is to die! Amazing flavora in every dish. 5$ beers and wines.
The pad Thai and green curry and shrimp wrap were amazing! The decor is simple and unpretentious. Great low key spot with friends who just want good food and casual atmosphere.
For personal lunch or casual lunch spot OK - yet for a dinner would only consider for a very casual dinner experience.
Concrete floors, hard benches & chairs for seating. A "buffet" lunch couknter setting.
More Asian fushion with limited menu.
As for food quality- fair to good. Yet nothing noteable or outstanding. Fair food for fair price.
Love the food and the cool vibe inside
Been here twice now, and I'm in love with this place. Even though I would hesitate to say this is a "more authentic" Thai restaurant, they do have some items on the menu that are a little more exotic than the usual. In any case, everything I've tried here has been spectacular. Most recently I shared the curry noodles and the garlic pepper stir fried fish. Both were truly remarkable. And you can't miss the "savory nibbles" appetizer!
Best Thai food in the east valley. Delicious, unusual, gourmet, Thai cuisine!!!! I yearn for their summer rolls!!!!
A great dining experience. Cool atmosphere, very friendly staff. Easy parking in the structure below.
I'd definitely go back.
Superb service! Lots of variety in the menu, without having 17 pages to look through. And the cheapest wine in LA!
The service was great! We really enjoyed Summer Canteen. The nibbles were yummy and the Tom Kah (coconut milk, chicken, etc.) soup was the best I've ever had!! Wow. We will definitely be back
It was a great surprise to find this restaurant within walking distance of my home. The food is good and the prices are reasonable. There is plenty of room and outdoor tables for the day time. I'll be back.
The service was great. The salmon kham wan was an interesting treat. Everything was very tasty although it did seem to take longer than usual to come out of the kitchen.
We found this place here on Open Table (1000 points!) and we're glad we did. Cool, modern space in Toluca Lake. Service is very sweet. And the food is delicious. Slightly Americanized, but that's okay with me. Flavors are complex, and they have a wide range of Thai favorites. We plan to be back soon!
The food was delicious, but I DESPISE the long wait for my lunch special!!! No one in my party ordered anything time consuming!
It's weird too, it's a Thai restaurant and they give fortune cookies at the end? Go figure.