What: The Drunken Noodles
Where: Blue Orchid, 73030 El Paseo, No. 102, Palm Desert
How much: $11.95
Contact: 760-776-6610; blueorchidpd.com
Why: The soft noodles and the fresh flavors.
On the west end of El Paseo in Palm Desert, near the semi-convergence of El Paseo, Highway 111 and Highway 74, good Thai food is in abundance. We’ve extolled the virtues before of Le Basil, and now we’re extolling the virtues of Blue Orchid—and specifically, Blue Orchid’s drunken noodles.
With these drunken noodles, the noodles really are the star of the show—they’re soft, yet not too soft, and you can sense the care the folks in the kitchen put into making them. Add red and green peppers that pop with freshness; just enough fresh basil to make its presence known with every bite; crispness-contributing lettuce; flavorful scallions and onions; and a subtle yet complementary sauce, and this plate sings. While there are two peppers next to the dish on the menu, signifying “spicy,” never fear: The drunken noodles are not too spicy, and what spiciness there is in no way detracts from the flavor.
The drunken noodles can be ordered with chicken, pork, tofu or (for an extra $2) shrimp, and this leads us to the one quibble we had with the dish: We selected chicken … which was rather lackluster. It was OK—it was tender and acceptable—but it could have been better, especially in the flavor department. It didn’t sing.
Therefore, the next time we go to Blue Orchid, we’ll be getting our drunken noodles with pork or shrimp. But make no mistake: We will be going back, and we will be ordering this dish again. Those noodles left us wanting more.