trustymofo: thanking the stars for pad thai kitchen

Tom’s house special curry with tofu, basically a red curry with peanut sauce.

Some days you don’t want to cook. Some days you barely have the energy to pick up food. (Insert sigh here over Portland’s lack of food delivery.) Some days you just have a hankerin’ for Thai.

I’m so lucky to have a nearby Thai restaurant that I can rely on, Pad Thai Kitchen. I first went there for a lady-lunch meetup—maybe it was someone’s birthday, I can’t remember—but it was a bunch of local-for-longer-than-I vegans, so I felt reassured. The one older woman in charge shouting, “Vegan! No egg! No fish sauce!” at the younger staff further reassured me. Someone was on top of things.

This chant would grow more familiar, as she repeated it during each phone order. Me: “I’d like vegan basil fried rice with tofu, medium spicy.” Her: “So vegan, no egg, no fish sauce.” Exactly. I’ve heard too many horror stories about other Thai places around town, friends finding shreds of something or other or tasting that taste and not wanting to eat it because they were pretty sure that was shrimp paste or oyster sauce or maybe it was made in a not-very-well-washed pan.

Reliable vegan food wouldn’t be worth much if it didn’t taste good too (to me—obviously even the blandest vegan food makes a huge difference for animals). No issue here. Everything tastes fresh and made to order. And they know heat: Medium spicy has that slowly building tingle, perfect for me, while Tom goes for very spicy—which is actually very spicy. Huzzah! True, the menu is your standard Thai menu. They’re not breaking new ground, not seeing where they can take Thai, but they do what they know and they do it consistently. And when you get take-out, it’s at least two meals’ worth. At least.

So thank you, Pad Thai Kitchen.

(Don’t get me wrong. I will forever hold a place in my heart for Vegan Glory, my L.A. go-to vegan Thai place…which delivered.)

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