Dining review: Warm welcome, flavorful food at Thai eatery in Colorado Springs | Subscriber-Only Content

Hello Thai & Yakitori is more of an invitation than a salutation at this Rockrimmon restaurant.

Still, expect to be warmly greeted when entering this small eatery. We were there for a carryout order, which we placed online. Phone orders are also accepted.

After selecting the date and time to pick up our food, there was more to do. Most entrees include choices of protein (chicken or tofu), spice level and add-ons. Any adjustments, such as omissions, can also be noted for each entree. The questions are the same a server would ask; no big deal.

We arrived about 10 minutes early for our order. Any wait was our fault because the food was packaged and ready to go at the time we had arranged online. Travel, the woman at the counter apologized for our wait. We did the same.

The delay wasn’t a negative, because our vantage point allowed us to watch the food being prepared. This only enhanced our anticipation.

Six light brown crab Rangoon ($5.99) were crispy, resulting in a perfect counterpart to their cream cheese, onion and crab filling. The texture combination was not lost in the drive to our kitchen counter.

Traditional Thai dishes are featured, including several curries, fried rice variations and noodle options. Among the entrees that caught our attention was something simply called “Orange” ($12.99).

Bite-size pieces of fried chicken are coated with a bright, sweet and tart orange sauce. Broccoli, carrots, onions and orange slices round out the dish. The orange pulp in the sauce made me further appreciate its freshness. This comes with Jasmine rice.

Since yakitori is part of the name, we’d be remiss in not ordering it. The skewered, grilled pieces of lightly marinated chicken are served in bento boxes. That is, they’re just one part of a meal. Hello Thai offers 18 bento boxes, 14 of which include yakitori. We ordered the Bento No. 4 ($8.99). This includes two skewers, a choice of white, brown or Jasmine rice, miso soup, two onion rings and coleslaw.

While waiting, I noticed a small sign offering the yakitori sauce for sale. Although there was plenty of the sweet and salty sauce included with the order, I see the appeal of ordering a larger quantity. It made something good even better.

The chicken was tender, the onion rings (battered with panko) were crunchy and the slaw was creamy, which balanced with the saltiness of the other food.

The problem when ordering takeout is missing the plating. The miso soup, for example, when it’s to go, comes in a Styrofoam cup. All but one of the containers was of this same eco-unfriendly material.

Basil fried rice ($12.99) was our least favorite dish. We’re to blame for this, too. More heat was needed and I ordered mild. It’s a large amount of fried Jasmine rice with thin slices of chicken, green and red peppers, onions and an appreciable amount of Thai basil. This helped avoid blandness.

Another problem with takeout is missing the friendliness and ambiance a restaurant offers. Based on our brief wait, Hello Thai & Yakitori has the former in abundance.

Hello Thai & Yakitori

Description: Thai cuisine for dine-in or carryout

Location: 6626 Delmonico Drive

Contact: 719-265-9168; hellothaiyakitori.com

Prices: $7.99-$17.99 (dinner); $9.99-$10.99 (lunch)

Hours: 11 am-8:30 pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; noon–8:30 pm Saturday and Sunday (closed Tuesday)

Details: Credit cards accepted. Wi-Fi.

Favorite dishes: Yakitori bento box, Orange

Other: Gluten-free and vegan options available.

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