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Pad thai in PDX without ketchup?

chipqmunk Aug 6, 2007 09:44 PM

I'm fairly new to the Portland/Vancouver area (from Seattle) and every Thai restaurant seems to have pad thai drowning in orangey-red sauce--made with ketchup or tomato paste. On a brief visit to Bangkok last year, I ate pad thai at 3 different places and never experienced this sauce. The closest I have found to authentic is at Kinnaree and May in Seattle. Whenever I am brave enough to ask what's up with the orange sauce, I am told it's a regional thing or it's the tamarind paste. I keep hoping I will luck upon some place down here that will say, "Since you asked, you must be a connoisseur of the real stuff. I will bring you some right away!"

  1. j
    jesset Aug 14, 2007 07:57 PM

    The best pad thai in Portland (well, the best Thai anything in Portland) can be found at Lemongrass. Just be careful about the spice level. Medium in lemongrass-speak is hot as hell anywhere else. May still be closed as the owner is on vacation so call first. Enjoy....

    1 Reply
    1. re: jesset
      curriedbones Sep 27, 2007 01:24 AM


    2. p
      pizzafiend Aug 14, 2007 06:31 PM

      You should also try Kesone Thai at approx. 26th and NE Sandy. My wife loves Pad Thai and has tried many places around town, and this is her favorite.

      1. m
        MichaelG Aug 7, 2007 03:56 PM

        If you live in SW PDX, you might try Pepper Tree. Over a three night period, I compared their pad Thai to Thai Orchid and eSan, and it came out on top. Highly recommended...

        2 Replies
        1. re: MichaelG
          chipqmunk Aug 12, 2007 07:18 PM

          Thanks all for the recommendations! I have not been to any of the places each of you suggested, so I will enjoy trying them all. Some of the places where I have found the ketchupy style pad thai were Pai Tong on NE Glisan, Beau Thai on NW 21st, Erawan in east Vancouver and Kop Chai in Camas, WA. I am new to the "epic" discussion--that brought a lot of insight to the variations in pad thai recipes! It gives me hope that I can still try to perfect a recipe at home.

          1. re: chipqmunk
            extramsg Aug 13, 2007 02:44 AM

            Arawan had changed hands, I think, a year or two ago and really went downhill. Beau Thai is one of my least favorite in town. I remember their pad thai as being rather sauceless, though. Maybe that was Miso Hapi.

        2. n
          Nettie Aug 7, 2007 10:56 AM

          If you're new, you might not rememeber the epic pad thai discussion from a couple of years ago:

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