Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Red Onion

It's official, I LOVE Thai food.  I love the harmonious interplay of bold flavors: sour, sweet, spicy, salty.  It's probably the food I crave the most when I've gone a period of time without it.  It's a good thing Dumpling Man also likes Thai food, but his version of Thai food is limited to Thai curries and pad se ew.  Anything beyond those staple dishes is all on me, meaning I'm the only one who's gonna eat it.  That is why I jump at any opportunity to eat Thai food with other larger groups of people so I can try other Thai dishes I'm sure I will also love.  Alas, this rarely happens, so I'm stucking eating the same things.  It's not really all that bad because I always leave a Thai restaurant satisfied.

I was worried that Portland would be lacking in the Asian food.  While I have been underwhelmed by the dim sum, the Thai food has well exceeded my expectations.  I would easily say the Thai food here is better than any Thai food you could find in LA, excluding the Hollywood area where Thai Town thrives. 

Tom Mamuang & Pla Trout Tod Krob shredded green mango, carrot, mint, cilantro, cashew nut, crispy rainbow trout, sweet spicy lime juice
I will not belabor the point I've made before about my love for Thai salads.  This was an interesting variation with the addition of crispy trout as the protein.   The shredded mango and carrots were not overly sour or sweet.  They took up the dressing without imparting too much of their own strong flavors, like a really really sour green mango can.  The dish was of course brightened up with the use of mint and cilantro.  It was all rounded out with the earthy soft flavors of cashews sprinkled throughout.  I can't complain about this salad.

Massaman Curry chicken
I have yet to figure out what makes massaman curry different from yellow curry because it tastes pretty similar to me except for the addition of peanuts to the former.  I'm no expert on Thai curries, but this one tasted pretty good to me.  Chicken was sorta strange, like unnatural tasting.  Sort of like the frozen pre marinated chicken breasts you can pop in the microwave and make into a sandwich or add to your salads.  Texture was better than the frozen stuff.  It was just too tasty to have been a fresh chicken breast.

Pad Se Ew soft tofu
I've never seen pad se ew with carrots.  That was very strange to me.  All in all, the flavors were good, but all pretty standard.  Certainly better than any crap I ordered from delivery at the VA.  You'd be amazed at how bad pad se ew can really be.   I'm looking at you, Mr. Noodle!

Another great little Thai place in Portland.  Portions and prices are pretty standard, not dirt cheap but not chintzy on the portions.   I would gladly come back here and try some of the other dishes.  I will note that the Thai places here tend to offer more "off the beaten path" dishes not usually offered at the Thai places around West LA.  Yay for authenticity!  Go Thai!

Red Onion
1123 NW 23rd Ave
Portland, OR 97210


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Darin at October 26, 2010 at 11:32 PM said...

I love your blog! And you've got some pretty nice looking pictures to. If I ever find myself in Portland looking for Thai food, this place definitely looks like it would hit the spot.

Lynn at October 27, 2010 at 6:37 PM said...

wow! i'm so flattered =) i like your blog too! as you can see i've added it to my list of favorite foodies.

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