Patou Last Night (Belmont)
We tried Patou for the first time last night. Good experience overall, though I'm not quite ready to put it in the same category as Dok Bua and Khao Sarn.
As is the case with several Belmont Center businesses, the space is long and narrow, with a dining area in the front, another one in the back, a narrow strip in between with a window showing the kitchen, and a small concrete patio out back with maybe 5 tables. We opted for the patio, since it was such a nice night, though the air was almost too still--could have used a bit of a breeze.
We started with chicken coconut soup (tasty, though perhaps a bit too sweet) and an app that was a special last night--steamed rolls with char-grilled chicken, noodles, and veggies that came with a sweet sauce as well as a delicious (and hot!) red chili sauce. For our entrees, we had the pad Thai (the ingredients were fresh, though it seemed like the dish could have used more ground peanuts) and the country-style chicken basil (hot and spicy with lots of flavor, and the ground chicken had a nice consistency, but the dish itself was slightly watery). The Chang beer was excellent, as was the Thai iced tea (the sugar water and cream was on the side, which was a nice touch).
Prices were a bit high for Thai food, especially for some of the more exotic dishes on the menu, including several dishes that were around $18.The menu and the atmosphere felt a bit more upscale than your typical Thai restaurant, so that probably justified the higher prices (plus its Belmont location--there were some seriously rich-looking folks in the restaurant last night!).
I'll be going back to Patou sometime next week to try another dish or two. I know people who absolutely love this place, so I'll have to ask them what their favorite dishes are before I head back.
Haven't been for a while, but they had a short rib dish on the specials menu for months that was great. Braised beef shortribs, on the bone, fork tender, and really tasty very spicy sauce - served with green beans and rice. Quite spicy, even for a chile-lover, and lots of food, just as good when reheated.
I agree that the chicken coconut soup is a little too sweet, but I keep ordering it because the flavor is so good.
The wild boar basil was fair - really just pork with basil. I remember the duck Panang being excellent, and the duck choo chee was also a little too sweet, otherwise good.
I definitely don't mind eccentric, especially when it comes to people-watching during dinner. And I really didn't expect it in Belmont!
By the way, perhaps this is for another thread, but has anyone noticed that a new Thai and Vietnamese restaurant has opened across from the high school in Arlington? I think it's called Lady Siam. Anyone try it yet?