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Pad thai in PDX without ketchup?

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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!"

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  1. If you're new, you might not rememeber the epic pad thai discussion from a couple of years ago:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/13582

    1. 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

        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

          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. 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. 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

            Lemonleaf?