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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Idaho Vacation: House of Kim, a Kitchen Vacation

Today my wife needed a kitchen vacation or more correctly, a vacation from the kitchen.  I had recently read some very positive reviews on the House of Kim, a downtown Nampa restaurant, so we decided to give it a try.  Turned out that this is an excellent place to spend an Idaho vacation, even if it is only an hour or so for a meal.  It is a good venue to add to your Idaho things to do, or visit, list.

Since both my wife an I are retired, we take turns preparing lunches and dinners.  This week it is her turn to fix dinner. For a number of reasons, she needed a break so we picked a place we hadn't tried yet. 

The House of Kim has been in busines in Nampa since 1994. The tidy restaurant specilizes in Chinese and Thai food.  James, the chef and owner, completely revamped the menus about three years ago changing ingredients, seasonings and presentation.  Based on our experience, the changes were well done. 

We were warmly greeted and guided to nice circular booths.  These half round arrangements were a welcome change from traditional booths with a table between the seats.  The booths give a feeling of closeness without having to bump elbows or stare at each other across a table as in traditional booths.  Traditional chairs and tables are also available for larger groups or for those who prefer to sit on regular chairs.

If you get the chance, ask for Rachael to be your server.  You will be guaranteed warm smiles, helpful menu suggestions, and good service.  James, the chef, came by several times to visit and to make sure our meal was just right.  It was!  Good old fashioned traditional friendly service.

We started our meal with Satay chicken, grilled chicken pieces on a skewer, served with grilled peppers,  onions, and mushrooms.  A spiced peanut sauce was a nice condiment and went well with the chicken. Taste was wonderful and the appetizer was plenty for two. 

My wife ordered the Spicy Squid meal with additional chicken.  I ordered the Pad Sawee Pork with rice noodles and sauteed vegetables.  Rachel offered us extra plates in case we wanted to do some sharing to try each others meal.  These meals come with varying degrees of spiceness, 1-5.  My wife ordered a spiceness of one and my was a three.  Both of our dishes were nicely seasoned, with distinct differences between our meals.  Portion sizes were average to large, nicely presented and  a joy to eat.  Meals are reasonably priced. The House of Kim is clearly a cut above most Chinese restaurants.  We plan return visits. 

The House of Kim is located in downtown Nampa and quite easy to find and drive to.  Decor and music is typical Chinese and pleasantly done.  Hours are 11 am-2 pm and 5 pm - 9 pm Monday - Thursday, 11 am - 9:30 pm Friday and Saturday, and 4 pm - 8 pm Sundays.  You will be glad if you make a stop here while on vacation in Idaho or just make this an Idaho vacation destination. 

Address - 1226 1st St South, Nampa
Phone - 208-466-3237
Web site -
Directions - several sets of direction of travel instructions could be given, depending on your starting location.  I suggest entering the address on the Google map on the right side of the blog page and referring to the map.  Enter your starting address and get complete drving directions.

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