I can confidently say that as far as Asian food in Portland goes, most of it is pretty average. One large exception to this is the Thai food. Are there a lot of Thai people in Portland? I don’t think so, at least according to Verde, but sometimes his information isn’t always that accurate. Thai food is good in LA, but limited to Thai town. West LA has plenty of Thai places but some of them are pretty blah. In Portland, I haven’t come across one bad Thai place as bad as some of the places I’ve eaten at in LA. For this, I am grateful. This is what keeps me alive in Portland because I am someone that NEEDS a regular helping of rice and all else Asian. Granted, when I eat Thai food with Dumpling Man, I am usually limited to 2 dishes, yellow chicken curry and pad see ew, but really I love all other Thai flavors and dishes. So when Mee Sen was recommended to us, I saw that the menu included some more atypical dishes and I wanted to try it.
Hoy Ob Sa Mun Prai green mussels baked in clay pot, basil, lemongrass, galangal, chilies
The herbs and seasoning as spot on as was the spicy dipping sauce, but the dish failed because the mussels were not good quality. They were kinda rubbery. Alas, not all Thai mussel dishes can be as good as it is at Jitlada.
Khao Soi Gai
I have only newly discovered this very popular Northern Thai dish and I love it. I haven’t found a version as good as I had in Thailand, but this hit the general spot. It was slight sweet and spicy with a big hunk of chicken drumstick. I guess what I don’t like about khao soi is the crunchy noodles. I just want more of the regular noodles instead.
Pad See Ew
Dumpling Man had to have his ONE dish, so I allowed him this. Or rather, he ordered this and allowed me some other dishes, namely the mussels which he said I would be eating on my own. The version here was no doubt delicious, as it has been at almost any of Thai restaurants in Portland. Sweet, salty, with a good amount of wok hei.
Khao Mon Gai Thoon Kai Tom stewed chicken in five spices, soy, hard boiled egg, black mushrooms, topped with gravy
This was a new dish to us and we liked it. It reminded us of a similar stewed duck leg dish at Ping. Ping’s version is much tastier and flavorful, but this did not disappoint. It was pretty simple and hearty.
Surprisingly, we actually finished all of the food. Either the food was that good or the servings were that small. I think it was little bit of both, and probably the fact that Dumpling Man can be major fat-asses when no one is looking. Mee Sen is a nice little restaurant in the Mississippi area of Northeast Portland. The place has a certain vibe about it that didn’t exactly match up to my 4 inch heels and dolman sleeve sweater jacket if ya know what I mean. The bench seating and rustic tables didn’t complement Dumpling Man’s merino wool vneck sweater and designer jeans. Despite it’s more “Portland” vibe, we would still probably come back to try some other things on the menu that are a bit different than your standard noodles, stir frys, and curries.
3924 N Mississippi Ave.
Portland, OR 97227