The Noodle Hut, Pittsburgh, Regent Square
I recently had dinner at The Noodle Hut in Regent Square, the sit-down sister of The Green Mango (Thai take-out only in Edgewood). I've never eaten at The Green Mango, which seems to have many followers, but I was pretty disappointed with The Noodle Hut. (I should note that, on the other hand, the Post Gazette gave the restaurant a very favorable review.)
I was with vegetarian friends, so perhaps my bad luck centered around the poorly prepared tofu present in every dish. To start, we had the Tofu Summer Rolls -- fine but not great. We also had the Yum Tofu Salad, which was drenched in too-strong salad dressing and featured deep-fried tofu slices that were very dry and hard to chew. For my entree, I had something I can't find on their online menu (same as The Green Mango, www.thegreenmango.com), but it was a basil, tofu, and eggplant dish. The flavor was pleasant, if maybe a little mild, but again, the tofu had been chopped into tiny cubes and pan-fried so much that they were undesirably chewy and rough.
The atmosphere inside the restaurant was dimly lit, nicely decorated, and a bit loud (not necessarily bad). There were also many sidewalk tables. So, maybe I should conclude is that The Noodle Hut doesn't do tofu well. (Maybe I can even extrapolate to any vegetarian dish). But I'm reticent to try it again (or The Green Mango) when I know that going to the Bangkok Balcony will result in consistently pretty good Thai.
I have to say that I love this place. My husband and I eat Thai all the time, and we enjoy the other restaurants mentioned (Bangkok Balcony, Sweet Basil) very much... but it's the the Green Mango in Regent Square that we have on speed dial. Their tofu summer rolls are the best I have tasted in the city, and I went on a quest trying to find better. I couldn't. They are full of basil and mint, not iceberg lettuce like some places use. I also like the way they cut them into bite sized pieces, I guess to each their own though.
I haven't had anything I disliked, and my favorite dish is the Lak Sa noodles. Delicious.
Also try Thai Me Up in the SouthSide. Everything I have ever had there has been great!
I ate at the Noodle Hut last year...I ordered the pad thai and my friend chose the Green Curry. I can't remember much other than the chicken in the pad thai was gristly...and not as good as Bangkok Balcony. Hoping to try Sweet Basil soon...the only reason we haven't is b/c a family friend works at BB and we feel traitorous...haha.
Maybe we'll go back to the Green Mango...I live in Regent Square and it really looks so cute and adds to the neighborhood and I want it to do well!...
I've found the noodle hut to have very inconsistent service and food. The entrees vary so much from time to time, I think there must be at least 2 cooks (one good, one bad). Too many times I've had terrible service there also. I would not recommend getting to-go orders from there. When I've done it the meals have been much worse than when I ordered in the restaurant (forgot to spice the spicy noddle soup, just noodles and water? barely broth flavored, no spice).
That being said sometimes they are very good. I generally like their fresh rolls and their pumpkin curry with beef is sooo good. That hasn't been enough to keep me coming back much, even though I live around the corner.
In addition to Bangkok Balcony, I would highly recommend Sweet Basil & La Filipiana for excellent Thai and Filipino food. Its on Murray in Sq Hill. Its BYOB and the food is even better than BB. Its also a little cheaper. Their tofu & eggplant in basil sauce is the best in town. http://www.mysweetbasil.com/ They also have a location in lawrenceville that has an awesome outdoor seating area.