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December 15, 2009 Slideshows

Pearls of Wisdom at Pearl Café in Florissant 

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Read Ian Froeb's review here: "Thai Breaker". Photos by Jennifer Silverberg.
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It is customary in Thai culture to greet guests upon entering and exiting with hands together, a nod of the head and the word “soawadee.” Owner and executive chef Scott Truong and his brother Tommy made sure to place a figure facing in, and another facing out, so whenever entering or exiting Pearl Café you are met with a lovely statue and an implied “soawadee.”
On right is Pearl Café owner and executive chef Scott Truong with his brother Tommy. They also own Simply Thai in Florissant. Restaurateurs from an early age, their grandmother owns Vin Hoa, a Chinese restaurant in Granite City.
In the kitchen is chef Tony Truong, the brothers’ uncle.
Preparing to plate and stir fry, a typical scene in Pearl Café’s kitchen.
The Spicy Basil lunch special with beef is onions, basil leaves, green and red peppers with garlic Thai pepper sauce. As with most items on the menu, the diner has a choice of meat or vegetarian. This was one prepared with beef.
The green curry lunch special with coconut milk, bamboo shoots, green beans, eggplant, basil leaves, green and red peppers and choice of meat -- this time it's shrimp.
Dipping sauce, Thai style!
Thai Braised Chicken, also a lunch special, is made with white meat chicken, pineapple, onions and red & green peppers. Like all the lunch specials, it is served with steamed rice a crab rangoon, crispy spring roll and dipping sauce.
The pineapple fried rice has eggs, ham, pineapple, green beans, raisins, cashews and green onion.
Chef Tony Truong at work in the kitchen of Pearl Café.
The brothers' aunt (from the other side of the family), Kalong Busapathamrong, also works in the kitchen.
Also with the lunch specials comes a serving of rice soup, shown here being poured into a small bowl.
The always reliable Pahd Thai – rice noodles with eggs, tofu, bean sprouts, green onions & peanuts and your choice of meat... as always.
All the hand-embroidered tapestries in the restaurant are from Thailand.
Tommy mentioned that the saltwater fish tank in the restaurant is something that they care for and maintain themselves. It has become quite a hobby for them.
The dinner menu’s Spicy Basil with beef. Like the lunch menu special, it is made with onions, basil leaves, green & red peppers with garlic Thai pepper sauce.
Glass noodle soup is made with clear soup, glass noodles, mushrooms, tofu, green onions and cilantro. It also comes with your choice of chicken or pork.
The menu at Pearl Café is not limited to Thai food. They also offer some Chinese and Vietnamese plates. (Note the crab rangoon that comes with the lunch special). This dish is a actually an appetizer (although I think it is certainly large enough to be its own meal!) called Vietnamese Crepes. It’s a crispy crepe with coconut, pork, shrimp, red onions and green onions. It is served with lettuce, fresh herbs and a sweet fish sauce.
Pearl Café’s interior is warm and inviting. And for those who like to dine while watching television, they have that too.
All the art on the wall in Pearl Café’s interior is made by Thai artists. There’s even a row of pictures above the counter of all the Thai kings.
Tommy Truong behind the counter at Pearl Café.
The good luck tortoise in the back of the kitchen. A good luck tortoise is always placed at the back of a room, house, kitchen of a restaurant, etc… because it is said to draw good luck from the front door, in, and fill the space. A totem of sorts to help bring the brothers good business and success. I was thrilled to find it tucked in a back corner of the kitchen!
The restaurant’s namesake… there is no shortage of pearls in the restaurant’s interior.
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It is customary in Thai culture to greet guests upon entering and exiting with hands together, a nod of the head and the word “soawadee.” Owner and executive chef Scott Truong and his brother Tommy made sure to place a figure facing in, and another facing out, so whenever entering or exiting Pearl Café you are met with a lovely statue and an implied “soawadee.”

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