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Than Thao

This is so not Thai food. I can't figure out how I ever thought it was. Not that it's false advertising, the marquee does say Thai-Vietnamese, or Viet-Thai, or something along those lines. I noticed this a lot on my recent Portland visit. I guess NYC has made me a food snob, but nothing was cutting the mustard with me. The menu is much more Vietnamese-Chinese. The only curry I saw, and subsequently ordered, was penang, which was tasty in its own way but not Thai-like. It was very peanutty, like they had used a peanut dipping sauce as a base and was filled with vegetables including broccoli and carrots, which just seemed wrong. If you order pad Thai they ask if you want coconut sauce or peanut-garlic sauce. Pad Thai doesn't contain coconut milk. It was really bizarre. And I used to go to this place all the time, never suspecting anything was amiss. The friends I was with thought it was fine. Another old favorite, which I didn't try this time around, Saigon Kitchen, is another Vietnamese restaurant (duh, Saigon) that also does Thai food and no one seems to notice the difference. I mean at a real, only Vietnamese food restaurant I tried later in the week, my grandma practically threw a hissy fit for not getting a fortune cookie. Oh, now that I think about we did get fortune cookies at Than Thao, so who can blame the locals for getting confused. Anyway, I just felt like something was lacking, it's tricky trying to please everyone by doing two cuisines in one establishment.

Thanh Thao * 4005 S.E. Hawthorne St., Portland, Oregon

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