When My Thai Bistro first opened on SE Hawthorne a few years ago, I was skeptical. I lived in the neighborhood, already had my favorite haunts well established, and wasn’t necessarily willing to waste a perfectly good meal on food of unknown quality. Lucky for me, I swallowed my skepticism, gave it a shot, and thankfully was not disappointed.
My Thai succeeds where many other local Thai places fail in delivering super fresh, colorful dishes combining protein, noodles and vegetables without getting weighed down with too much oil. I recently had a very unfortunate experience combining greasy drunken noodles with an epic hangover, and needless to say, I will not be going back down that road again any time soon. Urg.
Instead of overly frying their noodle dishes with oil, My Thai’s noodles are soaked to perfection and then served with a combination of delicious and carefully crafted sauces that dance tantalizingly between sweet, sour, salty and spicy. (The spice level is set to your personal specification). Most dishes are topped with a hefty mound of fresh vegetables, tender pieces of meat (or tofu), and garnished with lime and bean sprouts.
(#51 Esan Noodle: shredded lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumber, cilantro, carrots and mint atop angel hair noodles with signature peanut sauce, cracked peanuts and savory lime sauce- shown with grilled, marinated chicken). BELIEVE ME: it tastes even better than it looks!
Not in the mood for noodles? No worries! The restaurant also has a large selection of non-noodle dishes for those who prefer their Thai with rice. All selections are plated beautifully complete with carrots carved into flowers and whatnot. See?
(#39 Pad Khing: Shitake mushroom, fresh red and green bell peppers, savory yellow and green onions, ginger, mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, broccoli and ginger strips- shown with chicken)
With lunch specials priced from $6.95-$9.95 based on protein, and served with a generous bowl of the soup of your choice, you get a lot of food for your money. Dinner may cost you about 2-3 times as much, particularly if you order a cocktail. I recently had their “Signature Mojito” ($7.50) which came in a lovely tall glass with lots of mint and lime, but I do believe they made it with sugar instead of simple syrup, so I was sucking up some granules with each sip. Still, better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, as they say.
(The Signature Mojito)
In a nutshell:
My Thai is a great alternative to your favorite local Pad Thai spot. With minimal frying and huge helpings of bright veggies in nearly every dish, you can get your noodle on with minimal guilt. Most items prepared with your choice of meat (or not) so there is sure to be something for everyone.
Must have: Esan Noodle (#51). With the generous portion of angel hair rice noodles, grilled marinated meat (or not), and a heaping pile of fresh, crunchy vegetables. This dish is bursting with flavor and covers all the important food groups.
Watch out for: If you’re a vegetarian make sure to ask if there are any fish or meat products in your dish. Veggie doesn’t necessarily equal vegetarian. Also, double check those pot stickers- I am pretty sure we got pork when we asked for veggie.
If you’re on a budget: Go for lunch and choose a lunch special. They are all under $10 and come with a decent bowl of soup. It will most likely be more than enough to fill you up and send you home with leftovers.