The appearance is a bit of an eyesore. The patio is attractive, but aside from a few nice statues and a really lovely silver Thai screen, they left all the old furniture and decorations from J.Ho's [the previous restaurant].
I don't know why restaurants haven't done well here - it's a prime location right on olive in the very center of the Tower with easy parking access and a lot of foot traffic. I have to say the service wasn't extremely impressive - not that I think it was the waitresses fault. She was well-mannered, but she was the only one serving 6 tables and I don't care how good you are, someone is going to be waiting for something with a section that size.
There was a bartender on duty, who seemed like a pleasant guy judging from the way he was chatting with a few patrons, but he continued to set up without helping the server. When there is no one else, a good bartender gets out from behind the bar and hustles.
What saves this restaurant? - The most amazing Thai food ever, absolutely delicious [I really can't give it high enough praise, and the presentations is lovely - first rate!] We started off with a couple of appetizers. One was called Money Bags so named for they way they appear. They are super cute, deep fried and stuffed with peas, white potatoes, fresh herbs, chicken and shrimp. They are served with an absolutely delicious sweet garlic dipping sauce.
We also had the Spring rolls which are the first I had ever had that weren't deep fried. Wrapped in a soft egg paper, and stuffed with shredded iceberg lettuce, carrots, mint, cilantro, cucumber and shrimp. They are served with a sweet chili sauce, but I think the cilantro and mint give it so much flavor you hardly need to dip them in anything. And did I mention they are gigantic? They would be great as an entree, if you are looking for something healthy and filling, yet light.
The entree selection seemed endless. Though I have had Thai food quite a few times, I must say I hadn't heard of a lot of the items listed. I decided to be adventurous and try the Phad Lad Nah, which is an exquisite dish comprised of big rice noodles topped with a choice of chick, pork, or beef [ I had the chicken] and broccoli in a brown gravy sauce that had just a hint of heat [spicy heat, that is]. The presentation was beautiful and served on lovely china.
My mom and my friend had the signature Million Elephant Fried Rice that was made with eggs, shrimp, pineapple, cashew nuts, raisins and curry powder. Normally, I would think the blend of odd flavors wouldn't be good but it was fantastic.
We rounded off our meal with the Fried Bananas with Honey, which are bananas wrapped in an egg paper, deep fried and drizzled with honey. This is a delicious dessert - very rich, making it perfect for sharing.
If you like Thai food, then you have to try Million Elephant. It beats the rest in presentation and taste.
Million Elephant is located at 1153 N. Fulton St. Fresno, CA 93728. The restaurant is open for lunch from 11:30 am 2:30 pm and for dinner from 5:30 pm 10 pm. The bar is open Thursday Saturday from 5:30 pm until 2 am.
For reservations call 559-237-3832.