Thai-o-rama came to a close last week with a group dinner at and several reviews of Sengchai Thai on Forest Ave, the culmination of 10 months of eating and writing about the baker’s dozen of restaurants in Portland that serve Thai food. Hopefully you enjoyed reading as much as we did in putting it together.
There was a lot of activity in the Thai segment of Portland restaurants industry this past year. Boda opened (taking over the Bangkok Thai space), Thai Chef Buffet closed (to be replaced by Soju which is itself going to be replaced by Shanghai-Tokyo), Chaing Mai moved from Union Street (to make room for Havana South), and Nakornping Thai changed owners and names to become Sabieng.
So no doubt you’re wondering now with 13 meals and 54 reviews by 9 different food writers behind us where should you go to eat. Read what some of the project’s most active participants have to say on that score including their list of Best of’s:
Appetite Portland – read the full article
Best Pad Thai: Chiang Mai Two delivered the goods with nicely cooked noodles, succulent shrimp, snappy bean sprouts, a balanced peanut/tamarind sauce, and a juicy lime wedge. Runner-up: Veranda Thai Cuisine’s version was fragrant and peanutty with shiny, slurp-worthy noodles. Disclaimer: You must order Veranda’s Pad Thai at heat level 2 or higher or risk receiving a blanched pile of bland.
Edible Obsessions – read the full article
I wanted to follow the outline of a ‘Best of,’ but when I kept answering the questions there was only one restaurant that I felt was the best in any category you could designate…Boda
The Blueberry Files – read the full article
Best curry… Pom’s Thai Taste
Overall, I think Pom’s is the most consistent traditional Thai restaurant. There were some flops, and it is one of the more expensive Thai restaurants we visited, but it’s good.
Where is Jenner’s Mind – read the full article
Best “I never expected to like it” dish: i have mixed feelings about crab rangoon and i usually just allow seth to order it. so i guess my ‘never expected to like it dish’ was the crab rangoon at chiang-mai two.
As for my part, I think Boda is ahead of the rest of the pack both in terms of the food (Miang Kum Som-oh!) and overall dining experience. That said, comparing Boda with the rest is an apples to oranges comparison, not because of qualitative difference but because while Boda is primarily a Thai small plate restaurant the other 12 are more in the standard Thai mode (pad thai-check, picture of the royal family-check, thai iced tea-check, etc). If what you’re looking for is a go to place for the standard Thai experience, then I think Veranda Thai, Chaing Mai and Saeng Thai House are your best options.
Still left unanswered is the question of why Portland has a Thai restaurant for approximately ever 5,000 men women and children who live here when other types of restaurants are missing or under-represented but that will have to wait for another day.
Many many thanks to Appetite Portland, Edible Obsessions, From Away, the Portland Daily Sun, Portland Eats, Portland Food Coma, Portland Food Heads, The Blueberry Files, Where is Jenner’s Mind for participating in the projects.