What: Pad See Ew
Where: Talay Thai Restaurant, 70065 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage
How much: $15.95
Contact: 760-832-9588; www.talaythairanchomirage.com
Why: The savory, smoky sweetness.
Thai food is one of my favorite cuisines. From amazing soups, to curries, to legendary noodle dishes like pad Thai, to salads like yum nua (beef salad), Thai food can be delicious, nuanced and comforting—all at once.
One of the Thai dishes that’s flown under my personal radar is pad see ew. However, after our recent dinner from Talay Thai Restaurant in Rancho Mirage, pad see ew is quickly rising on my favorites list.
If you’re unfamiliar: Wide rice noodles are stir-fried with a protein (pork, in this case), egg, broccoli and, as Talay puts it on the menu, “sweet soy sauce.” That soy sauce, and how it’s applied to the rest of the ingredients, is key: When things are done right, the sauce adheres to the rest of the ingredients (the noodles, especially), caramelizes, and creates an amazing sweet, smoky flavor.
At Talay Thai, when it comes to the pad see ew, things are done right: Every bite of the perfectly cooked noodles offered a ton of flavor. The pork was tender, and the broccoli still had an appropriate amount of crunch.
We got a lot of food for that dinner from Talay—we did takeout, because Talay doesn’t offer outdoor seating, and omicron was still very much an issue at the time—and the pad see ew was the star dish. Our takeout experience was seamless; the service was good, and the food was ready when we got there.
The Coachella Valley is blessed with a fair number of good Thai restaurants (something, alas, that can’t be said about some other Asian cuisines)—but Talay Thai should not be overlooked.