Friday, February 22, 2013

PaaDee Thai Comfort Food

Portlanders are completely spoiled. On any given night you can indulge in anything your belly & heart desires. So on a spring-like Friday night in February, we made plans to meet up with fellow-Portlander (ie knowledgeable in the local dining scene) for happy hour or dinner. After texting for nearly an hour trying to decided on what each of us may be craving or if we should try someplace new or go to a good stand-by (by stand-by we also mean no waiting for a table on a Friday). After suggestions for Italian, Tex-Mex and Soul food we decided to try a new Thai Restaurant none of us had been to yet and because we're still on the hunt for good Thai food in Portland.

After checking out the online menu and reading good local press for PaaDee Thai Comfort Food Restaurant, we decided to give it a shot. Located in a new multi-use apartment complex in the hip & happening neighborhood around East Burnside & 28th Avenue, PaaDee's modern exterior was inviting. When we arrived for happy hour (5-6:30pm) the sun had just set and the neighborhood was jumping with people everywhere.

We arrived with 15 minutes left to happy hour and ordered 1 of everything on the happy hour menu except for 2 dishes. We also ordered three of their specialty cocktails, one with rum, one with shoju and one with bourbon, and all three were terrific. Happy hour was off to a great start. Then the food started flying at us.

First was the skewers - squid and chicken. The squid skewer was fantastic - charred to perfection, tender and served with a chili lime sauce, a total bargain for $2 a skewer. The chicken was equally as good with a great smokey grilled charred flavor that matched well with the sweet sticky sauce.

SkewersGrilled Squid SkewerGrilled Chicken Skewer

We couldn't resist the house-made fish cakes. Deep-fried instead of often times steamed, these fish cakes were lemongrassy and the chunky cucumber relish made them irresistible.

Fish Cakes

Next came the noodle dishes. The Pad Kee Mao was a favorite for the night. Spicy with a slight wok-charred flavor which makes these noodles go above and beyond typical stir fried noodle dishes. The fresh peppers and basil added slight flavor to this well executed noodle dish.

Pad Kee Mao

The other noodle dish listed on the happy hour menu was an egg noodle soup with BBQ pork reminiscent of Chinese BBQ pork noodle soup. Also delicious, the lo mein noodles were chewy and toothsome and the broth was a light and refreshing, a total hit.

BBQ Pork & Egg Noodle Soup

We had to try the shrimp tom yum soup, this would be our gauge for authenticity. The soup base wasn't anything spectacular, but it was very good. Tart and slightly spicy the true winning element was the 3 enormous shrimps that came with the soup. We happily shared this bowl.

Shrimp Tom Yum Goong Nanh Kon

The last item to arrive was the Sriracha fish sauce glazed chicken wings. The coating was typical of this style of Asian chicken wings and beautifully fried, but the meat under the coating was bland.

Sriracha Fish Sauce Glazed Chicken Wings

All in all PaaDee was pretty good. A bit on the spendy side for dinner, but happy hour was a great deal for all the food and cocktails we ordered. Lunch looks to be a great deal with many dishes in the $7-$9 range, which is where Thai food dinner prices should top out at, but being located in a trendy neighborhood, in a shiny new building, I guess you've got to pay the bills somehow.

The decor was pretty minimum, which we liked with a long shared table in the middle. The bird cage light fixtures were adorable and reminded us of the bird market in Bangkok.

Birdcage Light Fixtures

PaaDee Thai Comfort Food
6 SE 28th, Portland, Oregon


bear13 said...

Have you tried Chiang Mai on Hawthorne?

Anne said...

Bear13: We have tried Chiang Mai and it was good. We were there for lunch and will head back for dinner sometime soon.