Last night I found myself really craving salad. I hopped on to the Chop't website to see what the current destination salads were, thinking maybe I could grab one for lunch today, and was pleased to see that the next destination was Thailand. Every salad and bowl sounded so good, and after reading Eater today, it completely made sense. The consultant on all of the Thai salads and bowls was none other than Harold Dieterle, the chef behind Kin Shop which we loved and miss. No wonder.
Although I was really intrigued by the turkey meatballs in the warm bowl, I decided to go with the crunchy Thai market salad since I had been wanting salad for the past 12+ hours. I was a little disappointed to see that the list of ingredients being mixed into the greens was so slim (only 3 items), considering the salad with tax would end up being over $11. It seemed like it wouldn't be a ton of stuff for a decently high price, but I tried to keep an open mind.
The Thai market salad started with a base of tatsoi, purple cabbage, romaine, and herbs, and then they added satay chicken, pickled hearts of palm, and crispy rice crackers. The recommended dressing was a Thai coconut lime vinaigrette. Since the dressing seemed to be made specifically for this salad, I figured that it would probably be the best pairing and didn't deviate.
This salad was so good that I immediately wanted more. The flavors were so complex, so nuanced, just like dishes you would expect at a Thai restaurant, not a salad chain. The rice crackers weren't overly hard or crunchy, but just added a nice textural accent along with the crunchy greens. The seasoning on the chicken was so flavorful that when added to all the herbs and all the flavor in the vinaigrette, the entire salad was just a giant explosion of flavor. I wish I could be more specific about the herbs and seasonings used, but while I may eat a lot of Thai food, I'm not skilled enough to do that. But this salad was good, so good that I almost licked the dressing off the bowl and ate every single herbal green bit I could find. The Thai menu items will only be around for a couple of months before Chop't moves on to a new destination, so I definitely plan to return to try the rest.