i did dinner at vieng thai last night and i was with an out of town guest today and knew he would enjoy it, so i ventured back for lunch today.
(i love that their menu is online, although it is not up-to-date. there were more items available in the restaurant.)
e-sarn sausage. both robb walsh and alison greene recommended this app. it was served cold with peanuts, cilantro, lime, chiles, and white cabbage. not impressed.
fried chicken wings. dinner companion ordered them last night. as expected, they were tasty and crispy with no heavy battering.
tom kha gai - excellent, delicate soup. just the right balance of coconut milk and broth so it didn't seem heavy.
som tum - thai style, green papaya salad. fantastic dish and very memorable. perfect spicy kick.
gang keaw whan - green curry chicken. had this last night but they left out the eggplant. the sauce was very soupy. i'll pass on this next time.
panaeng chicken - preferred this thick, rich curry sauce. will try the massamum next time.
pad grapraow crispy pork - tasty dish, but when we ordered it last night, they brought it with ground pork in it. i was expecting pork belly, but they ran out and didn't bother to let us know in advance. i'll have to try again on another visit.
plaa pad ped- crispy catfish in curry paste. high recommend and very lovely with deep fried whole basil leaves.
kee mao noodle- a favorite at the table last night. would have been better if it were spicier.
chinese broccoli - better than any chinese broccoli that i've had in chinese restaurants.
the restaurant dumbed down the spice level for us non-thai diners. i wasn't sure how much heat my lunch guest could have handled, so i told them to make our lunch a little spicer than usual. it didn't seem to make a difference. on my next visit, i will ask for "thai spicy" and see what i get.
i really want to try telephone thai, but i'm somewhat reluctant without first seeing the menu, not being able to find a comprehensive review from the houston press or chronicle, and after reading horror stories about the "thai nazi."
the service at vieng is usually pleasant with the waitress i've had twice. but last night we had an older gentleman serve us (probably the owner) and he was very short with us. we didn't bother complaining about the 2 dishes that came out wrong, as we were very happy with the rest of our meal.
what exactly is in the H6 crack chicken that i keep reading the accolades about?
I like Vieng Thai more, its cheaper with a little bigger portions and the massaman curry, the papaya salad, and a few other dishes are as good as it gets. Soups at kanamwan are a little better but after that the menu is nothing great. If kanamwan would serve a little bigger fish for their fish dishes it would move a little closer to Vieng Thai. Both are good places especially since they are BYOB.
my vote goes for kanomwan. even thought it might not be "authentic" thai (whatever that means), nothing beats pork toast (A3). or the coconut chicken soup (S3). or the S4 soup. or the H5/H6 chicken. and even though it's not your typical pad thai, i really love kanomwan's version with bean sprouts. you can tell i'm a regular there. the 2 times i've been to vieng thai, they were either out of appetizer dishes or very discourteous, which is saying something if you know anything about the legends of kanomwan...personally, i've had great service at kanomwan.