1-4 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. Saturday
TapWerks Ale House & Cafe
121 E. Sheridan
2218 N.W. 23rd
What works: The pad thai and chicken chili paste are great.
What needs work: The heater, apparently. It was chilly in there.
Tips: They used to have a lunch buffet. They don’t have a lunch buffet anymore. Just order off the menu. It’s worth it.
So when I ate at Moon Thai and there wasn’t another occupied table in the place, I was a touch worried. But imagine my relief when the food was good.
We started with pad thai ($7.50) because pad thai is where everybody starts. A Thai restaurant that can’t do a good pad thai doesn’t last long in this world. Moon Thai’s version is excellent — noodles with body and a sweet, slightly sour sauce that is engaging. Also, the chicken looks like it came from an actual chicken.
beef panang curry ($7.99) was a fan favorite, as well. That sweet,
creamy, pink sauce could have used a little more heat for my taste, but
when it melted into the rice, I looked forward to every bite.
right, Pad thai at Moon Thai
Our server was very careful when we ordered the jumbo shrimp massaman ($12.95) to tell us that the shrimp, while a pretty good size, were not really jumbo. It was kind of nice, really, although he needn’t have worried. They were big enough for me and — more important — they were perfectly cooked. No rubbery chew to these shrimp. They were tender and tasty, especially in that curry sauce. Paired with potatoes and cashews, it was a very satisfying bite.
They were out of duck for the duck curry that day, so we settled for chicken chili paste ($7.99). Personally, I’d swap the order of those words a bit. Maybe call it “chili paste chicken.” Because the chicken was definitely not served as a paste (thank goodness), but rather in nice, big chunks with eggs, peppers and scallions. Outside of the pad thai.
I thought it was the prettiest dish of the day and the one I’d most like to try again with a little extra heat.
Moon Thai operates, as many other Thai restaurants do, on a five-star scale of heat. I’m generally a three-star guy, which is hot enough to feel it, but not so hot that you’re sweating. At Moon Thai, I’d go at least to four stars. The three-star dishes are a little mild.
One draw of Moon Thai’s menu is that it also features sushi, which you might recognize as a Japanese dish. Japan is not technically, figuratively or even philosophically, a part of Thailand. But, you know, Asian food tends to get all mixed up here in Oklahoma: Land of Tolerance, so I don’t mind.
We got an eel roll ($5.50), which was fine. If you don’t like Thai food, but your friends all do, you can safely get the sushi here. I don’t know many people who are pro-sushi and anti-Thai food, but I don’t know your life. Maybe you prefer Pepsi to Coke. Maybe you thought “Fletch Lives” was superior to the original “Fletch” film. (If so, you’re wrong.) What I’m trying to say is: If you need sushi and Thai food together, Moon Thai has you covered.
If Moon Thai is empty when you walk in, don’t worry. The food is good. And the service is bound to be excellent.
Oklahoma Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service when appropriate.