I had the pleasure to attend a tasting at Bai Pai Thai Restaurant in Ravenna, not too far away from my home at the U-district. Chef Jack Kanand was really helpful in explaining his knowledge about wines and showed us pairings for dishes. There were traditional plates as well as some fusion dishes.
Atmosphere: Upon walking in, it was a really great ambience with really nice decor. There’s some red lighting, which was not conducive to my picture taking. There was a bar in the back and they had a plentiful amount of wine. The restaurant is very spacious with nice wooding.
Pricing: A little bit pricier, but it is finer Thai than I’ve had. Appetizers are about $6-$10. It’s about $11-$15 on average for entrees. The most expensive is lamb for $28. They do offer a happy hour, half off appetizers and specials on drinks.
Service: Their wait staff was really friendly and quick to offer help.
Lamb satay – one of their premium features of the tasting menu. This is an appetizer. Craft Australian lamb legs marinated in red curry & rosemary and then charboiled served with peanut sauce. Very tender, one of my favorites
Tea smoked salmon – an entree, grilled tea-smoked salmon with coconut-pineapple sam bal sauce topped with enoki mushroom. I thought the salmon could have been a little more moist.
Pork & shrimp dumplings served with spicy pineapple dipping sauce complimented with bok choy. This was also another feature of the tasting menu that has never been served. I thought this was very good, especially with the pineapple sauce.
Entree. Rice noodles with egg, mixed veggies, and peanuts. I thought this was a pretty average phad thai dish.
Sautéed eggplant, basil, bell peppers, and fried tofu in black bean sauce. I really like eggplant and I thought it was a good mix of veggies.
Spicy honey wings glazed with garlic soy honey. I really liked this appetizer and the glaze were perfectly crunchy.
Garlic string beans (tossed in a thick garlic sauce)
Larb (ground pork tossed with roasted crispy rice in lettuce cup wraps) – A traditional dish that you wrap using lettuce and I liked crispness of it, reminded me of a Vietnamese dish I would eat
Steamed ginger rice
Bai pai noodles with prawns (spicy wide noodles with basil, egg, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes & prawns) – I really liked this dish with its many components. Very tasty
Chop-chop basil chicken (ground chicken sautéed with garlic, chili, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, topped with a fried egg) – Bai Pai is known for this dish and it’s generally a favorite.
Massaman curry beef (served with apple chutney & cucumber relish) – The apple chutney really made this beef even more delicious.
Mango sweet sticky rice with thick coconut milk – To be honest, because the mango was not ripe, it was not the best dessert. The rice was very traditional sweet sticky rice.
Overall: As this is my first media tasting, I am really honored and grateful to be a part of this. The hostess, Catherine, was also very helpful in coordinating the event. I would definitely come back to try their happy hour menu. This is a finer Thai restaurant that is classier than the Thai restaurants in the U-district. If this is what you’re looking for, you have found the jackpot. They also have open mike night twice a month, catering, and a private room for special events.