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3 Dishes Neighborhood Restaurant Review: Thai Pasta

| October 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

By Greg Mattie

The Khusawangsri family (that’s Koo-sa-wong-sri) took over this restaurant when their close friend and former owner, took to ill health and had to move back to Thailand. Thai Pasta already operates two other food carts in Portland (and one more restaurant in Eugene) that are inhabited by PSU students on a daily basis so taking over this location was not an issue. In fact, this location provided an added bonus because they can serve a greater variety of Thai dishes compared to the space limitations a food cart offers.

The ‘K’ family serves traditional Bangkok-style cuisine with some Northern Thai-inspired dishes as well. A couple of things I learned about Thai food within the states are that most of the dishes prepared in Thai restaurants are prepared ‘immigrant-style’, which mean you get a choice of meat for the meal. If you ask for ‘Thai-style’, you will get a dish that is served with ground meat (usually ground pork), as this is the custom way the meal would be prepared in Thailand.

Having learned this wonderful tidbit, these were the three dishes I got to try:

11-1 Crying Dragon Dish at Thai Pasta by Greg MattieDish 1: Crying Tiger (Price: $9.95)

Off their Special Menu, this dish comes with a tender flank steak, thinly sliced, and served with a tamarind herb dipping sauce and sticky rice. Personally, I feel that flank streak is an underrated cut of meat. When cooked correctly, it can be one of the more tender cuts around. It is surprisingly affordable, too (around $7.99/lb at New Seasons).

The steak was beautifully seared to a perfect, medium rare. The tamarind sauce provided a nice, tangy freshness to the steak, thanks to the cilantro in the sauce. The sticky rice lived up to its name; drizzling a little bit of the sauce atop the rice was something I enjoyed doing.

11-2 Hawaiian Pad Thai Dish at Thai Pasta by Greg MattieDish 2: Hawaiian Pad Thai (Price: $9.95-$12.95 (Dinner price/choice of meat)

Inspired by one of the daughters, this creation infuses a bit of Hawaii into a traditional Thai favorite. The rice noodles are stir fried with your choice of meat (I chose seafood), egg, green onion, bell pepper pineapple (make note that the dish does not get its ‘Hawaiian’ moniker simply because pineapple was added), onion and a tangy, sweet homemade sauce (THIS is where you get the Hawaiian influence).

They asked for how spicy I wanted the dish. I said ‘mostly spicy’, which was a good option. I could have gone for hotter but I wanted to have a good ratio between sweet and spicy. I really enjoyed the selection of seafood: calamari, shrimp and scallops, all wonderfully tender. The noodles are excellent, taking in all the flavors this dish provided.

11-3 Guay Tiew Tom Yum Dish at Thai Pasta by Greg MattieDish 3: Guay Tiew Tom Yum (Price: $8.95)

Translated as Hot and Sour Soup, this is the one stop, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink, kind of meal. You have your noodles. You have your meats: shrimp, BBQ pork, ground pork. Cooked into a spicy broth and topped with bean sprouts, green onion, ground peanuts, and crispy wonton, this big bowl of ‘delicious goodness’ is guaranteed to fulfill the mightiest of appetites. A very fulfilling dish, indeed.

 

My fellow readers…I do not do this very often (okay, I do, every month) but do not hesitate to support a great, little gem that is tucked within an overlooked strip mall off Scholls Ferry Road (the one with the Big Red’s Café and the Zoomcare). Thai Pasta cares! The mom is the sweetest lady, working her tail off to make you happy. The daughter, when not attending college classes, is spending her remaining hours at the restaurant. Mr. Khusawangsri, spent a good two minutes on the ‘carrot flower’ garnish, making sure it looked perfect on the Crying Tiger plate. Little details like that will not go unnoticed by me. I will definitely be back for more. Thank you, ‘K’ family!

These were my 3 dishes, which ones will you try?

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Category: 3 Dishes, Beaverton Voice

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