Kirbie's Cravings


A good friend of mine is currently in Thailand and all his IG photos of the food he is eating has made me crave Thai food like crazy. So recently, Mr. K and I stopped in for a quick meal at our go-to spot, the Sab-E-Lee in Rancho Penasquitos. We prefer this location because of the larger seating area. We enjoy the variety of dishes offered here, especially the Isaan specialties, and the prices are reasonable.

We’ve worked our way through most of the menu and on this occasion, we went back to the default carb dishes.

Pad Thai

I’m pretty sure this is one of the most often ordered dishes here but I actually don’t really enjoy Sab-E-Lee’s version that much. The flavors were quite muted this time around. Also we requested a spice level 1 and there didn’t seem to be any spice. One gripe I have about this place is that the lack of consistency with the spice level. One day a level 1 can be extremely mild and on another day, a level 1 can mean extreme pain.

Pad Pak Boong (stir fried water spinach w/bean sauce)

I insisted we needed a green on the table and chose this one which I have not had before. I enjoyed the preparation. The bean sauce was not too heavy handed, instead adding a mild fermented flavor to the vegetable dish.

Pineapple Fried Rice

Not the prettiest presentation and also not a fan of the raisins. I’d forgotten that they add raisins to theirs. Usually my favorite is their salted fish rice but the last time we ordered it, it was extremely salty and we could barely eat it.

Speaking of last time, here is some take-out we had a few months ago.

Salted Fish Fried Rice

Normally a favorite of mine, but far too salty on this occasion.


The noodles were overcooked, I think, from sitting inside the container. Normally they are just right, leaving a little bounce and chew, but they were slightly mushy here.

This wasn’t our best meal here, but we also didn’t really order the dishes where they usually shine, their Isaan specialties. We’ll still keep coming back though as we do enjoy many of their other dishes and the reasonable prices.

Past visits here and here.

13223-2 Black Mountain Rd
San Diego, CA 92129



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14 comments on “Sab-E-Lee”

  1. Agree with everything you’ve said.  I’ve found the food pretty hit or miss lately.  Also had the pineapple fried rice last time and wasn’t loving the raisins.  Sometimes the food is wonderful.  I especially like the yellow curry.  But other times the food seems oily or not quite right.  

  2. I found the spice level was really inconsistent when we had soups and curries.  We’ve been getting take-out more than dining in, too.

    • I was telling my husband the spice level inconsistency reminds me of when I was a kid and eating at my friend’s restaurant. if i asked for less spice the cooks would deliberately put more to mess with me. heh. I usually prefer take-out from here, but I actually made us eat in the other night so I could have some nicer photos for a post. hehe.

  3. Awesome! I like their crab fried rice. It has a very fishy smell, but if you’re used to shrimp chips, it’s so, so good. 

    Their service can be a little wishy washy though. 

  4. You’re welcome =D

  5. I would actually like those raisins (in the pineapple fried rice)! It seems that they are inconsistent with how they season their food (too salty or spicy or not spicy enough). I haven’t been back since last year but I remember liking how spacious it was and the variety of dishes they offered.

    • lol! Mr.K and I spent most of the meal picking out the raisins! I like raisins, just not in fried rice or anything savory

  6. Yes! This is very close to us and we go sometimes. I wish their spicyness is more regulated! Every time we’ve gone, a spicy of 1 still is too painful for us, and I love spicy food! If they could regulate that better, I would go more. Good review. I’ve never tried the Isaan specialties, I’ll have to do that next time.

    • i wish they would regulate better too. we had a very painful experience once. Definitely get some of their Isaan specialties next time.

  7. I’m not usually a fan of pad thai but I really liked it here (mother-in-law ordered it so I tasted it). Pretty much everything I’ve tried here was really good, except some spicy minced beef-like dish that hubby ordered and I couldn’t handle! And actually, I wasn’t impressed with the pineapple fried rice here either… ah well, the prices are so cheap and it’s relatively good so I hope to make it back soon! Great pictures and review!