Years ago, I drove out to Haleiwa on Oahu’s North Shore for what I had heard was the best Thai food on the island.
And it came from a food truck.
Opal Thai Food was a wildly popular food truck parked in a little gulch across the street from McDonald’s in historic Haleiwa town. The owner, a friendly guy named Opel Sirichandhra, would chat up customers and often customize their orders.
I never ever got what I wanted. Opel always knew better.
Opel sold his food truck two years ago and opened his own brick-and-mortar restaurant in Haleiwa in October 2011. He’s got a few employees and a full menu boasting Thai hot and sour soup, drunken noodles, crab stir-fried noodles, duck curry and sauteed eggplant, among other things.
And it’s still as delicious as I remember.
And yes, Opel still bosses me around.
Here’s what my recent visit to his restaurant — my first time! — was like:
Opal Thai Food
Opal Thai Food, 66-197 C Kamehameha Hwy in Haleiwa. Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Phone: (808) 381-8091